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IN    THE 







MAJOE    TYLER,    R.E. 



Printed  under  the  Sitpenntcndence  of  Her  Majesti/'s  Stationery  Office, 

AND    SOLD    BY 

W.  Clowes  &  Sons,  13  Charing  Cross  :    Hahrison  &  Sons,  59  Pall  Mall 

W.  H.  Allen  &  Co.,  13  Waterloo  Place ;  "W.  Mitchell,  39  Charing  Cross 

Longmans  &  Co.,  Paternoster  Row  ;  Thubnee  6c  Co.,  67  &  59  Ludgate  Hill 

Stanford,  Charing  Cross ;  and  C.  Kegan  Palx  &  Co.,  1  Paternoster  Square, 

Also  by  Griffin  &  Co.,  The  Hard,  Portsea  ; 

A.  &  C.  Black,  Edinburgh; 

Alex,  Thom,  Abbey  Street,  and  E.  Ponsonby,  Grafton  Street,  Dublin. 


Price  Four  Shilling. -s  and  Sixpence, 


The  campaign  of  1870-71,  taken  in  conjunction  with  that  of  1866, 
will  mark  a  new  epoch  in  military  history  and  the  art  of  war,  and 
will  long  afford  thoughtful  soldiers  inexhaustible  materials  for 
study  of  every  description. 

The  war  of  1866  was  followed  by  re-organisation  and  re-arm- 
ing iu  most  of  the  countries  of  Europe,  and  similarly  that  of  1870- 
7 1  will  lead  to  reforms,  among  which  those  in  the  art  of  fortification 
will  undoubtedly  take  a  prominent  place. 

The  first  regular  siege  of  a  fortress  of  the  highest  order  since 
the  introduction  of  rifled  ordnance,  the  blockade  of  the  strongest 
place  in  the  world  with  an  army  for  its  garrison,  and  the  successful 
operations  before  the  enemy's  capital,  containing  2,000,000  inhabi- 
tants, as  well  as  those  against  the  other  strongholds  of  France, 
which  occupied  the  German  armies  for  four  months  after  the 
Battle  of  Sedan,  are  all  events  of  the  highest  interest,  not  only  for 
the  artilleryman  and  engineer,  but  for  every  officer,  and  even  for 
the  general  public. 

These  pages  are  supplementary  to  the  many  general  accounts 
of  the  campaign,  as  they  deal  exclusively  with  the  siege  opera- 
tions of  1870-71.  The  author  does  not  at  present  attempt  to  put 
forth  a  thorough  critical  examination  of  those  important  events,  but 
he  wishes  to  supply  a  clear  account  of  the  particulars  of  the  various 
sieges,  and  of  the  larger  sorties,  and  thus  to  contribute  a  chapter 
to  the  history  of  the  great  war.  With  this  object  all  available 
authorities  have  been  carefully  collected,  sifted,  and,  where  neces- 
sary, supplemented,  so  that  it  is  hoped  a  complete  sketch,  in  out- 
line, of  the  siege  operations  may  be  offered  to  the  reader.  Although 
this  work  contains  the  more  important  particulars,  further  details 
must  be  looked  for  in  subsequent  publications,  at  a  time  when  it 
will  be  more  easily  supplied. 

36996.       WT.  7702,  h 


It  is  impossible  to  write  a  complete  and  perfectly  accurate 
history  of  the  sieges  so  soon  after  the  war ;  this  can  alone  he  done 
by  the  authorities  some  time  hence,  when  all  the  official  reports  from 
the  various  arms  of  the  service  are  available.  The  Siege  of  Sebas- 
topol  was  only  described  for  some  time  by  ordinary  books  and  maps, 
and  the  same  will  be  the  case  with  that  of  Paris,  which  affords, 
beyond  all  comparison,  more  copious  matter.  The  Author  is  per- 
fectly aware  of  the  deficiencies  of  his  work  in  many  respects,  both 
in  the  letterpress  and  in  the  plans ;  but  he  hopes  for  indulgence 
from  the  reader,  and  also  from  the  critic,  to  both  of  whom  the 
difficulty  of  a  work  of  this  kind  must  be  known. 

The  accompanying  Plates  will,  it  is  hoped,  prove  sufficient  to 
explain  and  supplement  the  description  of  the  sieges. 


Dresden,  October  1871. 




.       1 


(Plate  I.)     . 



(Plate  II.)  . 

.       7 


(Plate  II.)  . 

.       8 


(Plate  II.)  . 

.     10 


(Plate  III.) 

.     11 


(Plate  IV.)  . 

.     15 


(PlatkV.)   . 

.     20 


(Plate  VI.) 


.     26 


(Plate  VII.) 

.     29 

Investment  and  Bombardment 

.     31 

Regular  Siege 

.     41 

Surrender    , 

.     53 


(Plate  VIII.) 

.     55 


(Plate  IX.) 

.     59 


(Plate  X.)   . 

.     65 


(Plate  XI.) 

.     70 

The  Condition  of  the  Fortress,  and  of  the  French 




.     72 

The  Investing  Army  and 

Field  Fortifications  . 

.     76 



.     79 


R      . 

.     83 


(Plate  XII.) 

.     86 


(Plate  XIII.) 

.     94 

La  Fere. 

(Plate  VI.)  . 

.     99 


(Plate  XIV) 

.  102 


(Plate  XV.) 

.  108 


(Plate  XVI.) 

.  113 


(Plate  XVII.) 

.  120 


(Plate  XVIII.] 


.  125 

State  of  Affairs  in  the  Foetf.ess,  Preparations  foe  a  Siege, 
The  Army  of  Paris.  ........ 





Arrival  of  the  German  Armies  before  Paris    .        .        .  139 

Arrangements  for  Attack 142 

Sorties 146 

Preparations  for  the  Artillery  Attack  ....  157 

Artillery  Attack  of  the  East,  South,  and  North  Fronts.  .  160 

Surrender 171 

Belfort.            (Plate  XIX.) 174 

Preliminary  Engagements  before  the  Siege.      .        .        .  177 

Bombardment 178 

Opening  of  the  Regular  Attack 184 

Surrender.    . 185 


Advance  of  the  First  Army. 








CiiiPAIGN   AGAINST    FRANCE,    1870-1871. 


In  few  great  wars  has  the  influence  of  fortifications  on  military 
operations  been  displayed  in  so  striking  a  manner  as  in  the  recent 
campaign.  It  is,  therefore,  of  special  interest  to  take  a  pre- 
liminary glance  at  the  systems  of  defence  which  had  been  organised 
in  the  countries  concerned. 

This  remark  has  reference  particularly  to  the  advance  of  the 
opposing  armies  on  Berlin  and  Paris  respectively ;  for  Berlin  was 
the  objective  point  of  the  French,  in  case  the  fortune  of  war  had 
been  favourable  to  them  on  the  Rhine. 

In  Prussia  we  find  that  from  the  western  frontier  to  the 
capital  of  the  country  the  lines  of  the  rivers  and  the  most  im- 
portant passages  over  them,  as  well  as  the  junctions  of  the  high- 
roads and  railways,  are  protected  by  fortresses  of  suitable  strength, 
which  not  only  cover  the  communications  at  these  points,  but 
also  secure  the  provincial  capitals  and  the  military  depots  against 
the  attack  of  an  enemy.  They  are  generally  of  such  strategic 
importance  and  so  strong  in  themselves,  that  they  could  not  be 
neglected  in  any  operations  of  a  systematic  and  deliberate 
nature.  Besides  fortresses  on  the  lines  of  the  Rhine  and  the 
Elbe,  the  country  is  protected  by  an  appropriate  and  suflScient 
number  in  advanced  and  intermediate  positions,  which  would 
serve  as  bases  and  points  of  support  to  an  army  acting  on  the 
defensive  in  this  quarter.  We  believe  it  may  be  assumed  that 
a  project  for  fortifying  Berlin — though,  perhaps,  only  in  a  tem- 
porary manner — exists,  and  is  so  far  completed,  that  its  execution 

36996.  B 

could  be  effected  in  a  very  short  time.  As  far  as  the  means  at  the 
disposal  of  the  government  permit,  the  fortresses  of  Prussia  are 
maintained  in  excellent  condition,  and  ready  for  war. 

In  France  we  find  a  very  different  state  of  affairs.  On  the 
northern  and  eastern  frontiers  lies  a  threefold  girdle  of  fortresses 
of  all  classes,  erected  for  the  most  part  by  Louis  XIV.,  ostensibly 
as  a  bar  to  Grerman  invasions.  We  must  bear  in  mind,  however, 
in  criticising  with  our  present  views  this  system  of  land  defences, 
that  the  regular  siege  played  a  far  greater  part  in  war  formerly 
than  at  the  present  day.  Most  of  the  fortresses,  both  large  and 
small,  in  that  part  of  the  coimtry  were  originally  built,  or  con- 
verted from  older  works  to  their  present  form,  by  Vauban, 
Chamilly,  and  Cormontaigne. 

It  was  on  account  of  tlie  slowness  of  the  movements  of  the 
armies  of  that  period,  and  the  wretched  state  of  the  country  topo- 
graphically, that  the  fortresses  were  erected  in  places  that  are  now 
of  no  military  value ;  for  this  war  has  taught  us  that  the  advance 
of  the  German  armies,  by  the  roads  and  railways  now  existing,  was 
not  delayed  by  them.  As  railways  form  now  the  chief  lines  of 
operations  of  armies,  a  sweeping  reduction  in  the  number  of  the 
small  frontier  fortresses  should  long  since  have  been  undertaken 
in  France,  and  there  would  then  have  been  no  occasion  for  the 
parsimony  that  has  been  shown  in  the  cost  of  their  maintenance, 
in  their  garrisons,  and  even  in  their  armaments  and  supplies  of 
ammunition.  Moreover  the  French,  so  long  ago  as  1814-15,  had 
the  best  of  lessons,  especially  with  regard  to  the  numerous  small 
fortresses  of  the  northern  frontier,  but  to  this  day  they  have  not 
profited  by  it  Consequently,  of  the  fortresses  in  Alsace  and 
Lorraine,  only  the  possession  of  Strasburg  and  Metz  has  for  us  a 
decided,  and  that  of  Bitsch  and  Pfalzburg  a  subordinate  interest. 
Finally,  we  may  observe  that,  in  spite  of  these  circumstances,  it  is 
not  unlikely  that  the  small  fortresses,  being  there,  will  be  main- 
tained for  some  years,  because  they  may  be  useful  as  points  of 
support  in  the  conquered  country  of  Lorraine.  Independent  Of 
this  expense,  Lorraine  and  Alsace  will  at  first  cost  us  more  than 
they  will  bring  in. 

With  the  fortresses  of  Lorraine  once  in  our  hands,  the  whole 
country  as  far  as  Paris  lies  open.  We  see  that,  as  regards  places 
to  bar  the  communications  by  road,  railway,  or  canal,  Toul  and, 
perhaps,  also  Vitry  were  the  only  important  points,  since  they 
secure  the  line  of  railway  leading  from  Metz  and  Strasburg,  by 
Nancy,  to  Paris.  The  advance  to  Paris  would  have  been  a  very 
different  matter  for  the  Grerman  armies  if  Chalons  and  Soissons, 
Rheims  and  Troyes,  had  been  fortresses  of  suitable  strength  and 
size,  and  had  prevented  us  from  marching  straight  on  the  capital. 
Paris  was  a  fortress  from  an  early  date  down  to  the  reign  of 
Louis  XIV.  In  course  of  time  it  was  repeatedly  enlarged.  Louis 
XIV.  caused  the  fortifications  to  be  demolished,  in  order  to  improve 
and  enlarge  the  town,  not  without  the  opposition  of  Marshal 
Vauban,  who  wrote  a  memorandum  on  the  fortification  of  Paris, 
but  without  result.    Again,  under  Napoleon,  suggestions  were  made 

for  the  fortification  of  Paris,  put  forward  apparently  by  Marshal 
Soult;  hut  the  idea  was  not  carried  into  execution.  Thus  the 
Allies,  in  1814-15,  found  it  an  open  town,  with  nothing  round  it  but 
barricades  and  some  slight  works  at  tlie  barriers  and  on  Montmartre, 
so  that  it  was  easily  taken,  after  some  sanguinary  engagements, 
which  took  place  chiefly  round  the  well-known  plateau  of  liomain- 
ville,  and  round  Montmartre,  then  lying  without  the  town. 

Five-and -twenty  years  later  the  then  premier  (Thiers)succeeded 
in  fortifying  the  capital  of  the  country,  at  a  cost  of  140  millions 
of  francs,  according  to  a  project  proposed — so  far  as  we  are  aware 
— by  General  Dode  de  la  Brunerie.  The  veteran  diplomatist 
Thiers,  a  Frenchman  to  the  backbone,  has  now,  after  having  met 
with  great  opposition  to  his  scheme  of  fortifying  Paris,  the  satis- 
faction of  having  seen  an  army  of  250,000  men  arrested  before 
the  capital  in  their  triumphal  march,  as  he,  with  full  knowledge 
of  the  internal  condition  of  France,  had  prophesied  before  the 
outbreak  of  the  war. 

Had  Paris  not  been  a  fortress,  France  would  have  been,  in  all 
probability,  compelled  to  make  peace  after  the  events  of  Sedan, 
because,  quite  independently  of  the  moral  impression  which  the 
news  of  the  march  of  the  Grermans  on  the  capital  of  the  country 
could  not  fail  to  produce,  the  government,  sprung  from  the  revo- 
lution of  September,  would  not  have  had  the  time  requisite  for 
the  creation  of  new  armies  in  Paris,  in  the  South  and  in  the  North 
of  the  country,  for  the  acquisition  of  new  materiel,  and  for  the 
organisation  of  a  popular  war  in  some  of  the  provinces.  Without 
fortifications,  Paris  could  not  have  defended  itself  on  the  18th 
March,  1871,  and  it  was  a  strange  stroke  of  destiny  that  the  builder 
of  the  works  should  stay  so  long  before  them  without  becoming 
their  master. 

The  French  declaration  of  war,  made  on  the  most  frivolous 
grounds  in  Jidy,  1870,  found  the  Grerman  fortresses  of  thePlnne — 
Saarlouis,  Cfermersheim,  Eastatt,  Mainz,  Coblentz,  Cologne,  and 
Wesel — on  a  peace  footing.  Thanks  to  the  admirable  system 
of  readiness  for  war  in  the  German  army,  and  to  the  regu- 
lations made  for  this  purpose,  these  fortresses  were  put  into  a 
complete  state  of  defence  to  resist  a  sudden  attack,  with  regard 
both  to  their  works  and  their  armaments,  before  the  end  of 
the  first  fortnight.  Had  the  French  army  pressed  on  before  this 
time,  it  would,  at  the  worst,  have  interfered  no  more  with  the  pre- 
paration of  the  fortresses  than  with  the  mobilisation  of  the  army. 
There  must  have  been  some  important  reasons  why  the  French, 
after  completing  their  concentration  in  all  essentials  so  early  as 
the  IGth  July,  did  not  seize  the  opportunity  to  attack  Saarlouis 
and  Eastatt,  which  lay  so  close  to  them. 

On  the  side  of  the  French,  at  the  outbreak  of  the  war,  the 
fortresses  of  Strasburg,  Breisach,  Schlettstadt,  Belfort,  Liitzelstein 
(La  Petite  Pierre),  Lichtenberg,  Pfalzburg,  Bitsch,  Marsal,  jMetz, 
Toul,  Thionville,  Longwy,  Montmedy,  Mezieres,  and  Sedan  were 
declared  in  a  state  of  siege,  and  put  into  a  condition  for  defence, 
which  last,  with  the  French,  corresponds  to  our  '  Armirung '  (pre- 

B  2 

paration  of  works  and  armaments).  But  in  France,  dm*ing- 
peace,  with  few  exceptions,  little  or  nothing  is  done  to  prepare  the 
fortresses  for  the  transition  from  a  condition  of  peace  to  one  of 
war,  so  that  the  armaments  and  works  of  the  places  there  were 
not  ready  beforehand  ;  thus  it  came  to  pass  that,  wherever  our 
advanced  guards  appeared,  they  found  the  preparations  for  a  state 
of  siege  incomplete,  and  interrupted  them. 

Never  yet  has  so  rich  a  field  for  practical  and  professional 
training  presented  itself  to  the  German  siege  artillery  and  to 
the  German  engineers  as  in  the  late  war.  They  had  to  contend 
against  adversaries,  who,  firm  and  unshaken  in  the  traditions 
of  tlieir  famous  engineers  and  artillerymen,  imagined  that 
they  far  excelled  all  other  nations  in  fortification  and  in 
gunnery,  and  had  often  declared  their  superiority,  both  verbally 
and  in  writing.  Our  success  against  the  French  fortresses  has 
now  proved,  clearly  and  unanswerably,  the  superiority  of  the 
German  scientific  arms.  The  armaments  of  the  French  fortresses 
may  be  said  to  have  been  everywhere  ample ;  but  they  had 
omitted  to  strengthen  and  extend  the  fortifications  by  the  addi- 
tion of  detached  forts,  which  would  have  kept  at  a  distance  the 
enemy's  long-range  artillery,  and  the  defence  was  thus  at  a  dis- 
advantage. Only  Metz,  Paris,  and  Belfort  were  provided  with 
such  forts,  and  these  fully  answered  the  purpose  for  which  they 
were  intended. 



(plate  I.) 

The  strong  mountain  castle  of  Lichtenberg  is  situated  at  the 
entrance  to  the  Vosges,  on  an  isolated  conical  hill  overtopping  the 
table-land  around  it  by  about  100  feet.  It  consists  of  an  enceinte, 
revetted  to  a  height  of  30  to  35  feet,  mth  a  ditch  and  masonry 

The  escarp  is  broken,  so  as  to  flank  the  ditch,  and  is  in  some 
places  provided  with  machicoulis,  by  which  fire  can  be  directed 
on  the  foot  of  the  wall.  Inside  the  fort  is  a  bombproof  keep, 
which,  with  a  few  casemates,  is  the  only  accommodation  for  the 
garrison.  The  gateway  on  the  west  side  is  blasted  out  of  the 
rock,  and  is  protected  by  a  ravelin  in  front. 

The  fort  bars  the  road,  which  leads  from  Buchsweiler  by 
Ingweiler  to  Lemberg.  It  lies  at  one  side  of,  and  about  three- 
quarters  of  a  mile  (three-and-a-half  miles  English)  north  of  the 
road  between  the  valleys  of  the  Moder  and  the  Rothbach :  its  in- 
fluence on  the  road  is  dependent  on  the  strength  of  the  troops 
available  for  offensive  action  from  the  fort. 

The  order  for  the  caj^ture  of  the  stronghold  of  Lichtenberg 
reached  Major- General  Yon  Obernitz,  of  the  Prussian  army, 
attached  to  and  commanding  the  Wiirtemberg  division,  on  the 
evening  of  the  8th  Augiist.  With  this  object  a  detachment,  con- 
sisting of  the  1st  and  3rd  jiiger  battalions,  two  batteries,  half  a  squa- 
dron of  the  4th  cavalry  regiment,  and  a  detachment  of  pioneers 
(engineers),  under  the  command  of  General  Von  Hiigel,  started 
from  their  bivouac  near  Rothbach  and  Ingweiler  early  on  the  9th 
August,  and  reached  the  fortress  about  half-past  7  o'clock  in 
the  morning. 

The  village  of  Lichtenberg,  which  was  weakly  occupied,  was 
surrendered  by  the  French  on  the  approach  of  the  detacliment. 
Captain  Schill  was  sent,  with  a  flag  of  truce,  to  the  fortress  to 
demand  its  surrender  ;  he  returned,  howe\^r,  without  any  result, 
after  having  been  fired  at.  Upon  this  the  1st  jager  battalion 
took  up  a  position  in  the  town  of  Lichtenberg  west  of  the  fort, 
the  3rd  in  the  wood  to  the  east  of  it ;  the  cavalry  main- 
tained the  communication  between  the  two  on  the  north  side. 
The  artillery  came  into  action  at  first  at  2,000  paces,  and 
afterwards  at  1,700  paces,  to  the  eastward  of  the  road  leading 
from  the  Moder  valley  Lo  Lichtenberg ;  later  on  they  advanced 
about  500  paces. 

The  fire  of  these  two  batteries,  assisted  by  the  musketry  of  the 
two  jager  battalions,  was  answered  by  shells  and  musketry  from 
the  fort,  without  any  important  result  being  attained  on  either 

side.  About  1 1  a.m.  a  reinforcement  of  a  third  battery  arrived, 
and  took  np  a  position  on  the  left  of  tlie  batteries  already  in 
action.  Some  of  the  guns  in  the  fort  were  dismounted  ;  here 
and  there  flames  were  seen  in  the  work. 

The  fort  was  summoned  to  surrender,  Imt  without  success  ; 
contrary  to  the  custom  of  war,  the  flag  of  truce  was  fired 
upon.  The  engagement  began  afresh  after  the  arrival  of  two 
more  infantry  companies,  who  took  their  share  in  the  musketry 
fight  of  the  jager  battalions  ;  single  skirmishers  advanced  right  up 
to  the  glacis ;  the  pioneers  burst  through  the  barrier  of  the 
palisades  there.  As  the  principal  gateway  was  covered,  and 
could  not  be  shelled  by  the  artillery,  and  the  destruction  of 
tbe  buildings  did  not  seem  sufficiently  extensive  to  justify  an 
assault,  the  fire  upon  the  work  was  stopped  late  in  the  afternoon, 
and  the  detachment  began  to  march  back,  leaving  before  the  fort 
the  half-squadron  of  cavalry  and  the  1st  jager  battalion.  These 
troops  were  to  take  up  a  position  for  the  observation  of  the  fortress. 
Suddenly  the  roof  of  one  of  the  principal  buildings  in  the  work 
took  fire,  and  this  induced  General  Von  Hiigel  to  order  the  6th 
battery,  which  had  already  inarched  off",  to  recommence  fire  ;  it 
returned,  and  cannonaded  the  fort  most  effectively,  at  1,700  paces, 
until  7  o'clock  in  the  evening.  The  damage  effected  in  the  work 
increased  visibly,  and  the  Commandant  (Second-Lieutenant  Arcuer) 
was,  therefore,  induced  to  capitulate,  about  10  o'clock  in  the 

The  fort  was  taken  over  on  the  following  morning,  about  8 
o'clock,  by  the  1st  jager  battalion,  left  behind  under  the  command 
of  Lieutenant-Colonel  Steiger  ;  while  the  rest  of  the  detachment  got 
back,  on  the  1 2th  August,  to  the  division,  which  had  in  the  mean- 
time advanced  to  Eauweiler.  The  artillery  had  fired  about  1,300 
rounds  against  the  fort.  The  garrison  (consisting  of  three  officers 
and  280  men,  including  27  wounded  and  10  killed)  comprised  24 
men  of  the  96th  line  regiment,  6  gunners  of  the  oth  regiment 
of  artillery,  and  240  fugitives  from  the  battle  of  Worth.  It  seems, 
therefore,  as  if  the  fort  had  not  from  the  first  been  supplied  with 
its  war  garrison.  The  war-materiel  captured  consisted  of  4  guns, 
3  howitzers,  204  chassepot  rifles,  quantities  of  gun  and  musket 
ammunition,  and  other  artillery  and  engineer  stores,  as  well  as 
provisions  of  every  kind. 

The  officers  were  allowed  to  retain  their  swords  for  a  time,  and 
received  their  private  property.  The  rest  of  the  garrison  were  at 
once  sent  away  as  prisoners  of  war.  The  capitulation  was  con- 
cluded by  Major  Seestorf,  commanding  the  1st  Wiirtemberg  jager 
battalion,  and  approved  on  the  11th  August  by  His  Eoyal  High- 
ness the  CrowTi  Prince  of  Prussia,  as  Commander-in-Chief  of  the 
Illrd  army. 

Plate  If 

I -L      L 

J— —4 

^o ,      It  vY  i^'^^^'"' 

J'p  !\aarjlj^^^^      Seo      Aoo     3oe       Zoo     ^m      clace^r   .ji^f*?  ^^"^-.^  * 

'    "^     \\::^^^P<'^'t«  Pierre 



PApmovrpE  SM.£. 


(plate  II.) 

The  little  fort  of  Liitzelstein  (La  Petite  Pierre)  bars  the  higli- 
road  which  leads  diagonally  over  the  mountains  from  Hagenaii 
to  the  Saar,  as  well  as  the  road  on  the  ridge  from  Bitsch  to  Pfalz- 
burg.  The  roads  of  the  Vosges  here,  and  we  may  add  generally, 
are  kej)t  in  very  good  order,  and  fit  for  the  passage  of  troops  of  all 

The  fort  of  Liitzelstein  has  an  escarp  26  feet  high,  which  b}^ 
its  broken  trace  provides  for  the  flanking  of  the  ditch.  The 
counterscarp  is  of  earth.  The  outworks  on  the  west  and  south 
sides  are  almost  in  ruins.  Tlie  castle  in  the  interior  of  the  fort, 
constructed  in  the  style  of  the  middle  ages,  serves  as  a  defensible 
barrack,  and  may,  with  some  alterations  to  the  buildings,  be  made 
use  of  as  a  keep. 

Liitzelstein  was  abandoned  by  the  enemy  and  fell  into  our 
hands  on  the  9th  August,  and  with  it  some  guns,  magazines,  and 
warlike  stores.  The  capture  of  the  fort  was  a  result  of  the  victories 
of  Weissenburg,  Worth,  and  Saarbriicken,  in  consequence  of  which 
the  French  entirely  evacuated  the  country  from  the  frontier  to 
the  Vosges.  The  defence  of  the  passes  of  the  Vosges  to  the  death, 
which  they  had  previously  spoken  of,  was  therefore  but  an  empty 

The  fort  was  surrendered,  with  its  garrison  of  half  a  company 
of  the  96th  regiment  of  infantry,  to  a  AViirtemberg  company. 

Apparently  the  garrison  was  taken  by  surprise  at  the  rapid 
advance  of  the  German  columns.  On  its  occupation  there  were 
found  half-finished  palisades,  and  great  masses  of  squared  stones, 
which  must  have  been  prepared  for  building,  but  had  not  been 
used.  General  De  Failly,  who  inspected  the  jDlace  on  Sunday  the 
7th  August,  after  the  Battle  of  Worth,  left  behind  him  the  most 
distinct  orders  for  its  vigorous  defence.  A  great  jsart  of  the  arms 
and  ammunition  were  found  buried,  as  well  as  some  ofiScers' baggage. 

His  Royal  Highness  the  Commander-in-Chief  of  thellird 
army,  the  Crown  Prince  Frederick  William  of  Prussia,  inspected 
the  fort,  in  the  course  of  his  march  with  the  headquarters,  on  the 
10th  August. 


(plate  II.) 

The  fort  of  Marsal  commands  tlie  valley  of  tlie  Seylle,  near  the  im- 
portant road -junctions  at  Chateau-Salins  and  Moyenvic,  where  the 
main  roads — JNIetz  to  Strasburg,  Saargemiind  to  Nancy,  and  Saar- 
louis  to  Luneville — cross  one  another  after  being  joined  by  nume- 
rous branches.  The  ground  in  the  direction  of  Metz  forms  an  ex- 
cellent defensive  position  if  the  defence  of  the  North-east  of 
France  is  in  question,  but  in  the  hasty  retreat  of  the  French  to 
the  line  of  the  Moselle  this  advantage  was  not  made  use  of. 

The  fortress  has  about  1 ,200  inhabitants,  and  consists  of  seven 
bastioned  fronts,  of  which  those  commanding  the  chief  roads,  and 
through  which  the  latter  enter  the  fortress,  are  provided  with 
ravelins.  The  ditches  are  supplied  from  the  Seylle,  and  have 
masonry  escarps  but  no  flanking  defences  in  them  ;  nevertheless 
the  place  must  be  considered  as  secure  from  assault,  and  much 
must  in  recent  times  have  been  done  to  strengthen  it.  The  ground 
in  front  of  the  fort — which  lies  very  low,  and  is  intersected  by 
several  channels  of  the  Seylle — is  marshy,  and  thus  very  ill-adapted 
for  the  advance  of  troops. 

The  4th  Bavarian  division,  under  the  command  of  Lieutenant- 
Greneral  Von  Bothmer,  commenced  their  march  by  Tiiitzelstein  on 
the  evening  of  the  14th  August.  While  on  the  road  on  the 
heights  of  Mecleuves,  the  order  arrived  to  advance  by  a  forced 
march  immediately  through  IMarsal  to  Luneville,  in  order  to  cover 
the  left  flank. 

The  4th  Prussian  cavalry  division  had  already  arrived  before 
Marsal  on  the  13th  of  August.  They  bombarded  the  town  and 
demanded  its  surrender  without  success  ;  in  the  evening  the  division 
was  relieved  by  three  battalions  and  a  regiment  of  light  cavalry 
belonging  to  the  advanced  guard  of  the  Ilnd  Bavarian  corps. 

On  the  14th  of  August  the  ulan  brigade,  a  detachment  of 
reserve  artillery,  and  two  companies  of  engineers,  marched  for 
Marsal.  The  heights  surrounding  the  fortress  on  the  north  and 
south  offer  good  commanding  positions;  they  were  each  occupied 
by  a  regiment  of  ulans  and  three  or  four  batteries.  All  the  pre- 
parations for  a  vigorous  bombardment  were  completed  ;  a  signal 
gun  was  to  give  the  time  for  opening  fire.  The  officer  commanding 
the  corps,  Lieut.-Gfeneral  von  Hartmann,  sent  a  written  demand 
for  the  sm'render  of  the  place  ;  during  the  negotiations,  which 
lasted  an  hour,  a  shot  was  fired  from  the  fortress,  and  a  Bavarian 
battery  also  fired  21  rounds  prematurely  ;  the  firing  was  not,  how- 

ever,  without  its  influence  on  the  commandant,  who  capitulated. 
Sixteen  officers  and  several  hundred  men  forming  the  garrison 
became  prisoners  of  war,  whilst  61  guns  and  considerable  supplies 
of  all  kinds  fell  into  the  hands  of  the  Bavarian  troops. 

With  the  fall  of  Marsal  the  road  through  Dieuze  to  Nancy 
became  open,  and  the  communications  with  the  Khenish  Palati- 
nate were  established.  The  war  indemnity  for  the  fortress  of 
Marsal  amounted  to  35,957  francs. 



(plate  II.) 

ViTRY,  on  the  Maine,  lies  between  the  canal  of  La  Marne  and  the 
railroad  from  St.  Dizier  to  Chalons,  and  is  astride  of  the  main  road 
from  8trasburg  to  Paris.  The  town  is  300  years  old,  and  was 
founded  by  Francis  I.,  on  which  account  it  is  called  '  Vitry  le 
Franpais ' ;  its  military  importance  results  from  the  situation,  which 
gives  it  the  command  of  a  main  road. 

The  fortifications  of  Vitry  consist  of  nine  irregular  bastions. 
There  are  no  casemates,  outworks,  or  detached  forts :  the  profile 
of  the  works  and  the  flank  defences  are  such  that  the  place  must, 
nevertheless,  be  considered  proof  against  assault. 

The  preparations  for  a  siege  were  very  scanty,  as  regarded  both 
works  and  armaments.  The  entrance-gates  were  merely  barricaded 
in  such  a  manner  as  the  hourly  expected  approach  of  the  enemy 
rendered  absolutely  requisite.  A  railway-bridge  100  feet  long, 
lying  within  range  of  the  guns  of  the  fort,  had,  however,  been 
blown  up. 

The  head  of  the  cavalry  division,  which  had  to  clear  the  ground 
for  the  march  of  the  Ilird  army,  had,  on  the  24th  August,  ad- 
vanced into  the  neighbourhood  of  the  fortress.  On  the  25th 
August  the  head  of  the  advanced  guard  of  the  division  arrived 
before  the  fortress,  and  summoned  the  commandant  to  surrender 
the  place  ;  in  case  of  refusal  a  bombardment  was  threatened. 

About  1 1  o'clock  the  town  capitulated,  and  was  at  once  occupied 
by  a  squadron  of  the  5th  regiment  of  dragoons,  under  the  com- 
mand of  Captain  Von  Grorschen.  Three  hundred  men  were  found 
there,  all  gardes  mobiles,  who  had  not  yet  received  their  clothing, 
and  who  without  delay  laid  down  their  arms. 

The  stores  of  arms  and  ammunition  which  the  enemy  left 
behind  him  were  also  on  this  occasion  considerable  :  5,000  stand 
of  muskets,  3,000  side-arms,  17  guns  complete  (consisting  of  three 
rifled  24-pounders,  two  rifled  12-pounders,  three  smooth-bore  24- 
pounders,  seven  smooth-bore  12-pounders,  and  two  smooth-bore 
6-pounders)  became  spoil  of  war. 

The  railway-bridge  that  had  been  destroyed  was  at  once  re- 
stored by  the  Royal  Prussian  field  railway  detachment.  No.  2. 

Plate.  Ilf 

x/  .'  '      ' 



(plate  III.) 

The  fortress  of  Pfalzburg  commands  the  mountain  road,  the  rail- 
road, and  the  Ehiue-Marne  canal,  which  all  lead  from  Strasburg 
by  Zabern  to  Nanc}'^  and  Paris.  The  road  and  the  canal  lie 
lialf  a  mile  (2^  Englisli  miles)  to  the  south  of  the  fortress. 
The  place  is  iDidlt  on  the  bastioned  trace,  and  has  six  bastions. 
The  various  lines  of  the  fortress  see  well  into  the  ravines,  and  ove]* 
the  vmdulations  of  the  ground  in  front.  The  ditches  are  24  feet 
deep  and  revetted,  the  escarps  being  in  part  cut  out  of  the  rock,  and 
the  fortress  may  thus  be  considered  as  perfectly  secure  from  assault, 
Pfalzburg-  has  two  gateways,  with  bombjDroof  barracks  in  connec- 
tion with  them,  and  also  two  large  powder-magazines,  amply  pro- 
tected against  direct  and  vertical  fire.  Some  of  the  bastions  are 
provided  with  hollow  traverses,  of  which  the  foundations  go  down 
to  the  casemates  under  the  ramparts.  Such  traverses  materially 
increase  the  defensive  strength  of  a  place,  for  they  afford  secure 
shelter,  to  the  gunners  and  the  guard  of  the  ramparts,  against  the 
destructive  effect  of  the  artillery  of  the  attack — now  a  very 
serious  matter — witliout  its  being  necessary  for  them  to  leave  the 

This  place,  like  the  fortresses  near  it,  did  not  delay  the  Ilird 
army  in  its  advance.  It  was  desirable,  however,  to  obtain  pos- 
session of  it,  so  as  to  open  the  communications  in  rear  of  the  army 
with  Lorraine  and  Alsace.  The  Vlth  Prussian  army  corps,  there- 
fore, received  orders  to  make  an  attempt  to  take  the  place  by  means 
of  a  bombardment. 

The  12th  division  was  ordered  on  this  duty.  The  infantry 
marched  by  the  valley  of  the  Ziesel,  the  artillery  by  the  pass  of 
Liitzelstein  ;  and  by  4  o'clock  on  the  afternoon  of  the  13th  August, 
the  little  fortress  was  completely  invested  by  the  22nd  infantry 
brigade  (38th  and  51st  regiments  and  6th  jagers).  In  the  evening 
a  reconnaissance  was  made  towards  the  place,  which  established  the 
fact  that  it  was  amply  provided  with  artillery.  During  the  night 
an  engineer  officer  crept  up  to  the  outer  slope  of  the  ditch,  and 
ascertained  that  the  depth  of  the  ditch  was  seven  metres  (23  feet). 
The  general  commanding,  Lieutenant-Greneral  Von  Tiimpling,  was 
satisfied,  from  these  observations,  that  a  sudden  assault  upon  this 
very  small  but  defensively  strong  fortress  was  not  practicable, 
at  all  events  without  special  preparations.  He,  therefore,  ordered 
a  bombardment  with  60  field-guns,  of  which  24  were  heavy. 
These    were    to    be    jDlaced,    on    the   night    of    the    13th-14th 


August,  in  covered  emplacements  on  the  heights  of  Weschheim, 
north-Avest  of  Pfalzburg.  The  position  taken  up  for  the  guns 
was,  upon  the  whole,  the  best  that  could  be  selected,  considering 
that  the  formation  of  tlie  ground  was  unfavourable  for  the  fire  of 
artillery,  and  having  regard  to  the  position  and  form  of  the  object 
aimed  at.  A  certain  amount  of  protection  was  obtained,  and 
the  guns  were  very  nearly  opposite  to  the  greatest  depth  of  the  fort. 
1160  men  were  told  off  for  the  construction  of  the  emplacements. 
The  works  were  carried  on  at  night,  quietly,  and,  considering  the 
circumstances,  quickly  ;  and  no  attempt  was  made  to  desti'oy  them 
by  the  garrison  of  the  fort. 

At  daybreak,  at  4  a.m.  on  the  14th  August,  Major  Eeese,  of  tlie 
general  staff,  conveyed  to  the  commandant,  Lieutenant-Colonel 
Taillon-Taillaut,  a  summons  to  surrender  the  fortress,  which  was 
refused ;  whereupon  the  fire  of  the  batteries  commenced,  without 
delay,  about  half-past  7  o'clock  in  the  morning. 

The  artillery  soon  got  the  range.  Swarms  of  skirmishers,  as 
opportunities  offered  during  the  cannonade,  ran  up  towards  the 
fort,  on  the  sides  that  were  not  directly  opposed  to  the  fire  of  the 
guns,  in  order  to  operate  against  the  infantry  and  gun  detachments 
in  the  work.  The  artillery  of  the  fort  answered  tlie  fire  with  about 
10  guns,  but  produced  little  or  no  effect. 

As  the  fort  was  provided  with  casemates  and  other  bombproof 
buildings,  it  did  not  suffer  much  ;  but  the  houses  in  the  town,  and 
especially  those  near  the  church,  were  much  injured,  although 
they  were  mostly  of  massive  construction.  The  artillery  must 
have  fired  about  1,800  rounds  against  the  fort.  Once  more,  at 
half-past  7  in  the  evening,  favourable  terms  were  offered  for  the 
surrender  of  the  place,  tln'ough  Major  Eeese,  but  again  without 
result.  The  commandant  came  out  in  front  of  the  Saverne  gate 
and  rejected  the  offered  terms,  which  were  for  the  free  departure 
of  the  garrison  with  their  arms,  in  these  words :  '•  Shoot  on  ;  you 
will  find  soon  but  a  heap  of  ashes,  and  myself  on  the  last  gun." 
At  the  same  time,  to  prevent  any  misunderstanding,  he  gave 
notice  of  a  salute  of  15  guns  in  honour  of  the  following  day,  the 
fete-day  of  the  Emperor.  As  nothing  more  was  to  be  gained,  and 
the  advance  of  the  corps  could  not  be  delayed,  orders  were  given 
for  departure.  The  army  corps  reached  Saarburg  at  2  o'clock  on 
the  morning  of  the  15th  August,  and  going  on  through  Blomont 
got  to  Luneville  on  the  17th. 

Two  battalions  of  the  51st  Lower  Silesian  regiment  remained 
before  the  fortress  in  observation.  It  should  be  added,  that 
during  this  investment  the  main  pipe  for  the  supply  of  a  portion 
of  the  drinking-water  was  discovered  and  destroyed. 

On  the  18th  and  19th  August  the  31st  landwehr  regiment, 
three  battalions  of  the  71st  landwehr  regiment,  a  squadron  of  the 
Silesian  reserve  regiment  of  dragoons,  and  a  4-pounder  battery, 
arrived  to  relieve  the  above-mentioned  detachment  of  the  Vlth 
army  corps,  which  had  been  left  before  tlie  fort,  and  the  newly- 
arrived  troops  formally  invested  the  place. 

Before  the  departure  of  the  battalions  of  the  51st  regiment, 


ColoneV  Kipping,  who  commanded  it,  sent  an  unavailing  sum- 
mons to  the  commandant  to  surrender.  The  fresh  troops  em- 
ployed in  the  investment  were  under  the  command  of  .Major  Von 
Giese,  whose  headquarters  were  in  Liitzelburg.  The  garrison  were 
not  idle,  but  made  several  small  sorties,  to  harass  and  drive  back 
their  enemy.  One  of  these  was  directed,  on  the  24th  August,  upon 
the  village  of  Unter-Eichen-Baracken — "les  Baraques  de  chenes 
d'en  bas."  The  Prussian  outposts  there  were  driven  out  of  the 
village,  which  was  only  recaptured  from  the  enemy  on  the  arrival 
of  reinforcements  in  the  course  of  the  day. 

Similar  results  attended  the  sorties  of  the  25t]i  and  27t]i 
August,  of  which  the  former  was  directed  upon  Mittelbronn  and  the 
"  red  houses  " — the  latter  again  against  Unter-Eichen-Baracken. 

In  consequence  of  the  peculiar  tactical  position  of  the  investing 
force,  and  the  character  of  the  ground  round  Pfalzburg,  a  light 
battery  was  attached  to  the  force,  at  first  from  the  Ilnd  army 
corps,  but  it  was  subsequently  relieved  by  a  battery  from  the 
Vllltli  corps. 

The  enemy,  in  spite  of  this  reinforcement,  at  4  o'clock  in 
the  morning  of  the  24th  September,  made  a  sortie  with  500  men 
against  Blichelberg,  and  also  succeeded  in  maintaining  his  position 
there  for  a  short  time.  In  this  action  the  enemy  lost  20  men 
wounded,  and  our  side  8. 

The  energies  of  the  investing  force  were  strained  to  the  utmost. 
All  round  them  bands  of  franc-tireurs  sprang  up,  against  whom  fre- 
quent reconnaissances  had  to  be  made,  whilst  the  watching  of  the 
garrison  at  the  same  time  demanded  the  closest  attention.  For- 
tunately, during  October  it  became  possible  to  add  to  the  weak 
force  several  companies,  who  had  been  detached  for  the  better 
protection  of  the  line  of  commimications — such,  for  example,  as 
those  to  Saarburg  and  Saverne.  An  attempt  was  also  made  t3 
secure  the  cantonments  against  surprise,  as  far  as  possible,  by 
constructing  barricades. 

All  the  important  events  of  the  war — such  as  tlie  capture  of 
Strasburg,  the  battle  of  Sedan,  tlie  capitulation  of  jNIetz — were 
communicated  to  the  commandant ;  tliey  had,  however,  no  effect 
upon  his  conduct. 

Meanwhile,  a  regular  siege  or  serious  bombardment  of  the  place 
was  contemplated :  the  idea,  however,  was  abandoned  when  the 
difficulty  was  considered  of  making  a  breach  in  works  founded 
partly  on  rock,  and  of  approaching  the  jjlace  by  sap.  It  was  be- 
lieved that  the  enemy's  morale  was  already  shaken,  and  that, 
altogether,  the  importance  of  Pfalzburg  was  not  such  as  to  justify 
the  sacrifice  of  time,  of  stores,  and  of  troops  which  a  siege  would 

A  long  time  elapsed  w^ithout  any  events  of  importance  taking 
place  before  the  fortress,  of  whose  internal  condition,  especially 
with  regard  to  the  serious  diminution  of  provisions  and  consequent 
disease,  tolerably  accurate  information  seems  to  have  been  obtained. 
A  bombardment  of  the  fort  was,  therefore,  evidently  necessary,  in 
order  to  see  what  effect  it  would  produce  on  the  enemy,  who"  was 
now  so  hardly  pressed. 


This  was  eventually  ordered  for  the  night  of  the  24th-25th 
November,  and  three  emplacements  for  the  field-battery  already 
mentioned  were  constructed  at  Weschheim,  Quatre  Vents,  and 
Les  Trois  Maisons ;  a  subdivision  at  each.  The  fort  was  heavily 
bombarded,  from  10  o'clock  in  the  evening  till  4  in  the  morning. 
The  artillery  of  the  work  did  not  remain  silent.  They  answered 
the  fire  vigorously  and  with  energy,  but,  owing  to  the  darkness, 
without  inflicting  any  serious  injury  upon  the  investing  force,  who 
lost  only  one  ofiicer  and  one  man  wounded.  The  result  of  this 
bombardment  was  the  entire  suspension  of  the  fire  of  the  artillery 
of  the  garrison  upon  the  Prussian  pickets. 

The  negotiations  for  a  surrender  were  not  immediately  brought 
about  by  this  last  bombardment,  but  the  end  was  near. 

On  the  12th  December  the  place  surrendered  at  discretion,  and 
the  investing  force  made  its  way  in,  after  almost  18  weeks  of  ex- 
traordinarily severe  and  exacting  toil.  52  officers  and  1,839  men, 
including  a  considerable  number  of  fugitives  from  the  battles  of 
Worth  and  ^Yeissenburg,  were  made  prisoners  :  65  guns,  of  which 
about  30  were  rifled,  and  other  warlike  stores  were  captured.  No 
particular  written  agreement  was  made  for  the  surrender  of  the 
fortress  :  to  this  the  commandant,  who  announced  his  intention  of 
giving  himself  up  in  a  letter  conveyed  to  Major  Von  Griese  by  a 
deputation,  would  not  consent.  The  provisions  were  consumed, 
and  the  capitulation  was  the  result,  so  that  the  brave  garrison  and 
their  determined  commandant  deserved  that  the  endurance  they 
had  displayed  should  be  recognised.  It  was  ascertained  that  the 
fort  had  never  from  the  first  been  completely  provisioned,  and  its 
fall  must  have  infallibly  taken  place  earlier,  but  for  certain 
accidental  circumstances, favourable  to  the  garrison,  which  happened 
at  the  right  moment.  Among  these  was  the  arrival  of  some 
French  provision  columns  after  the  battle  of  Worth,  and  also  a 
similar  train,  which,  originally  intended  for  Bitsch,  was  unable  to 
reach  its  destination,  on  account  of  the  advance  of  the  Germans 
having  rendered  the  country  insecure,  and  was  therefore  welcomed 
at  Pfalzburg. 

The  town  had  sustained  very  serious  damage  from  the 
shells.  Nearly  80  buildings  were  destroyed  by  fire,  and  of  the 
3,000  inhabitants  present  before  the  war,  nearly  1,000  had  taken 
to  flight.  The  German  government,  therefore,  allowed  the  town 
to  receive  a  considerable  sum,  out  of  the  proceeds  of  the  money 
raised  by  contribution  from  the  French,  as  compensation  for  losses 
sustained  in  the  war,  and  to  aid  in  rebuilding  the  houses. 

Plate  IV. 

fA Prno  TIPS  S  .1*.  £ 



(rLATE  IV.) 

Three  main  roads  from  the  Ehine  valley  unite  at  the  fortress 
of  Bitsch,  only  three-quarters  of  a  mile  (tliree-and-a-half  English 
miles)  from  the  frontier  of  the  Bavarian  Palatinate,  and  two  of 
them  continue  to  Saar-union  and  Saargemlind.  The  place  is 
on  the  projected  line  of  railroad  from  Hagenau  to  Saargemiind. 
The  town,  with  3,000  inhabitants,  extends  along  the  western  base 
of  a  precipitous  oblong  hill  90  to  100  feet  high,  and  is  cut  in  two 
by  the  Hornbach,  which  can  be  made  available  for  inundation  by 
means  of  sluices.  The  meadow-land  above  and  below  the  town  is 
impracticable,  and  equally  unfavourable  for  forming  saps  or  build- 
ing batteries.  The  country  round  is  a  barren  hilly  tableland, 
deficient  in  water,  partially  wooded,  and  only  broken  here  and  there 
by  solitary  scattered  rocky  knolls.  Some  of  these  knolls — as,  for 
instance,  the  heights  between  the  Weissenbourg  and  Strasburg 
roads — overtop  the  mountain-fort,  and  afford  sites  in  some  respects 
well  adapted  for  batteries,  to  which,  however,  it  is  difficult  to  take 
the  guns,  on  account  of  the  want  of  roads. 

The  sandstone  rock,  upon  which  the  fortress  is  situated,  was 
from  the  earliest  times  crowned  with  fortifications,  which  had  to 
be  razed  at  the  peace  of  Ryswick.  France,  however,  caused  this 
mountain-fort  to  be  rebuilt,  by  the  Marquis  of  Bambelle,  in  the 
style  of  the  period,  in  1741.  The  most  important  part  of  the 
fortress  consists  of  a  long  quadrangle,  from  whose  four  angles 
bastions  project.  The  north  front  is  further  strengthened  by  a 
horn-work  with  a  ravelin,  and  also  by  an  advanced  tenailled  work 
farther  down  the  slope.  The  escarp  on  the  long  sides  is  broken 
into  short  lengths,  to  obtain  flank  defence,  and  is  in  part  hewn  out 
of  the  rock.  Some  40  or  45  feet  below  the  upper  work  lies  the 
lower  fort.  It  is  connected  with  the  first  by  communications  of 
every  kind,  such  as  ramps  and  staircases,  and  follows  with  its 
tenailled  trace  the  edge  of  the  almost  perpendicular  cliff.  Two 
practicable  roads — the  one  on  the  west,  the  other  on  the  south-west 
side  of  the  hill — lead  out  of  the  town  into  the  upper  fort,  which 
they  enter  through  gates  secured  by  proper  works,  and  provided 
with  drawbridges.  Besides  these,  there  is,  between  the  hill-fort 
and  the  town,  an  imdergTound  passage  entirely  hewn  or  mined  out 
of  the  rock,  and  said  by  military  historians  to  have  been  used 
during  the  attack  by  the  Prussians,  on  the  15th  October  1793. 
This  attack,  as  is  well  known,  failed. 

The  defences  of  the  town  on  the  south-west  side  consist  of 


bastioned  fronts  with  liigh  revetments  and  deep  dry  ditches ;  the 
entrances  are  so  closed  as  to  be  defensible,  and  portions  of  the  bridges 
are  moveable.  In  more  recent  times  defences  on  a  larger  scale 
have  been  constructed  on  the  west  side,  consisting  of  three  bas- 
tioned fronts  with  connecting  lines  on  the  flanks.  At  the  north- 
west angle  is  situated  the  new  citadel.  It  is  designed  with  deep 
ditches  with  three  caponiers  in  them,  and  its  interior  consists  of  a 
two-storied,  massive,  bombproof  redoubt.  A  wall  25  feet  high, 
with  a  glacis  in  front,  joins  it,  and  serves  as  a  covered  communica- 
tion to  the  fort  on  the  hill,  and  this  wall  is  flanked  by  the  tenailled 
work  of  which  mention  has  been  made  above.  Behind  the  gorge 
of  the  citadel  is  the  powder-magazine,  completely  buried  in  the 
ground,  and  thus  perfectly  secure  from  shell-fire.  The  remaining 
bastions  are  connected  with  one  another  by  long  curtains,  and 
provided  with  large  traverses  on  the  capitals,  which  contain 
casemates  of  all  descriptions.  Bitsch  has  the  great  advantage 
over  many  of  the  small  French  fortresses  of  the  possession  of 
numerous  well  constructed  casemates,  which  are  appropriated  to 
different  purposes.  Excepting  the  governor's  house,  the  chapel, 
and  a  barrack  on  the  jplace  cVarines,  all  the  buildings  are  bomb- 
proof; there  are  the  most  admirable  casemates  and  underground 
chambers,  which  can  be  made  use  of  as  secure  cover  for  the  troops 
and  their  provisions.  The  well,  240  feet  deep,  deserves  notice, 
being  also  arched  over  and  bombproof. 

The  relative  levels  of  the  defences  are  such,  that  not  only  the 
ground  in  front,  but  also  the  more  recent  advanced  defences  in  the 
plain,  are  perfectly  seen  into  by  the  fort  on  the  hill ;  the  construc- 
tion of  approaches  against  the  fortress,  or  of  a  lodgment  in  the 
works  lying  under  the  chief  fort,  is  therefore  impracticable. 

At  the  time  when  the  French  army  set  out  for  Grermany  the 
corps  of  Greneral  Failly  was  stationed  at  Bitsch. 

On  the  7th  August,  after  the  battle  of  Worth,  a  part  of  the  right 
wing  of  the  French  army — apparently  the  army  of  MacMahon, 
Avhich  subsequently  appeared  again  at  Chalons — fell  back  on  the 
road  to  Bitsch,  in  order  thence  to  recommence  their  retreat 
through  the  Vosges.  It  is  not  to  their  credit  that  they  neglected 
to  blow  up  the  railway-tunnels  behind  them,  a  measure  that  would 
have  done  infinite  injury  to  the  Grerman  army,  as  regarded  the 
bringing-up  of  troops  and  provisions.  The  Grermans,  after  their 
victory,  did  not  delay  in  following  up  the  enemy.  On  the  8th 
August  the  Ilnd  Bavarian  army  corps  was  before  Bitsch.  An 
attempt  was  made  to  obtain  the  surrender  of  the  rock-fort,  which 
was  provided  with  a  numerous  garrison  and  armament.  With 
tbis  object  a  battery  of  Bavarian  horse  artillery  formed  up  and 
fired  a  few  rounds  at  it.  The  fort  answered  at  once,  and  it 
very  soon  became  apparent  that  the  end  was  not  to  be  gained  in 
this  fashion,  without  siege-batteries  or  heavy  guns.  The  advance 
of  the  army  corps  could  not,  however,  be  delayed  on  this  account, 
so  that  there  was  no  choice  but  to  march  round  the  fortress.  This 
was  done  in  three  forced  marches,  of  which  the  first  was  to  Lemberg, 
the  second  to  Montbronn,  and  the  third  to  St.  Lorenzen.     The 


roads  traversed  were,  however,  so  bad,  that,  although  the  pioneers- 
worked  at  them  overnight,  they  could  only  be  passed  by  the 
infantry  in  file,  and  by  the  artillery  with  the  utmost  difficulty. 
We  mention  these  marches  to  show  how  great  was  the  influence 
of  even  this  small  fortress  which  lay  in  the  line  of  march  of  the 
Grerman  armies. 

Meanwhile,  on  the  German  side,  the  fortress  was  watched,  siege- 
guns  were  brought  into  position  from  Germersheim,  and  the  2nd 
Bavarian  regiment  of  field  artillery  was  charged  with  the 
duty  of  commencing  the  bombardment.  The  field-batteries  were 
in  conveniently  arranged  emplacements  covered  by  the  ground. 
Batteries  had  been  built  for  the  heavy  siege  artillery,  and  the 
direction  of  the  bombardment  was  given  to  Colonel  Kohlermann. 
It  was  commenced  on  the  23rd  August,  and  was  continued  during 
the  following  days,  according  to  circumstances,  without  ever 
becoming  a  pitched  battle  of  artillery. 

On  the  Ith  September  the  French  made  a  sortie  with  a  large 
force,  and  a  tolerably  severe  engagement  ensued.  The  defenders- 
were  beaten  back,  witli  a  loss  of  50  killed  and  wounded  and  17 
prisoners,  while  the  Bavarians  lost  6  killed  and  10  wounded. 

It  was  soon  seen  that  an  energetic  defence  was  to  be  en- 
countered, for  which  piu-pose  the  German  force  at  hand  was 
insufficient.  Accordingly  the  3rd  and  8th  Bavarian  regiments, 
a  company  of  Bavarian  garrison  artillery,  and  a  Bavarian  company 
of  pioneers,  arrived  before  the  fortress  as  a  reinforcement.  The 
siege  artillery  comprised  16  heavy  guns  and  4  mortars. 

On  the  10th  September  Colonel  Kohlermann  intimated  that  a 
bombardment  of  the  fortress  and  town  was  imminent,  and  gave 
permission  to  the  inhabitants  to  depart.  Many  of  these  would 
have  availed  themselves  of  the  humane  intention  of  the  com- 
manding-officer of  the  investing  force,  but  the  commandant  of 
the  fortress,  Lieutenant-Colonel  Theyssier,  interfered  to  some  extent 
with  their  departure,  as  he  -^^dshed  the  citizens  to  take  part  in  the 

After  these  preliminaries  the  serious  bombardment  began,  at 
half-past  5  in  the  morning  of  the  11th  September.  As  the 
weather  was  clear,  the  fire  of  the  siege  batteries  was  attended  with 
the  best  results.  Firing  was  soon  begun  in  the  fortress,  and  the 
artillery  of  the  besiegers  at  first  kept  up  the  fight  very  briskly, 
but  afterwards  with  long  intervals  of  silence.  About  2  o'clock  in 
the  afternoon  the  fire  ceased  on  both  sides. 

On  the  12  th  Sejatember  the  bombardment  of  the  fortress  was 
continued.  Towards  6  in  the  evening  the  churcli  in  tlie  town  was 
in  flames,  which  soon  spread  in  the  small  closely-built-up  town, 
and  between  60  and  70  houses  were  destroyed.  During  the  day  a 
messenger  from  the  town  appeared  at  the  outposts,  and  begged  of 
the  commanding-officer  of  the  investing  force  that  the  citizens 
might  depart  free.  However,  after  what  had  taken  place,  as 
above  stated,  this  could  not  be  agreed  to. 

During  the  night  the  fire  on  both  sides  slackened  somewhat, 

S6996.  C 


and  did  not  become  heavy  again  until  towards  the  morning  of  the 

The  results  were  inconsiderable,  and  it  was  not  till  the  14th 
September  that  the  siege  artillery  succeeded  in  setting  fire  to  some 
of  the  few  destructible  buildings  on  the  place  cVarmes  of  the 
fortress — a  result,  however,  that  did  not  have  the  smallest  in- 
fluence in  inducing  the  commandant  to  surrender. 

It  was  owing  to  various  reasons  that  the  final  effect  of  this 
bombardment  of  four  days'  duration  was  much  inferior  to  the  results 
which  we  had  learnt  to  expect  from  similar  undertakings  before 
other  fortresses.  I^he  fort  was  defended  by  an  energetic  comman- 
dant, was  amply  provided  with  ammunition  and  provisions,  and 
possessed  most  excellent  bombproof  cover  for  the  garrison  and 
stores.  On  the  Grerman  side  they  were  now  convinced  that 
a  bombardment  alone,  even  on  a  larger  scale,  would  not  suffice  for 
the  attainment  of  the  object  in  view.  A  regular  siege  was  not 
contemplated  by  the  Grerman  military  authorities,  because  it  would 
have  required  a  greater  expenditure  in  materiel,  troops,  and  stores, 
than  the  value  of  the  fortress  would  have  justified. 

Under  these  circumstances,  it  was  considered  advisable  merely 
to  observe  the  place  from  a  greater  distance,  to  prevent  attacks 
of  the  garrison  on  Grerman  provision  and  ammunition  trains. 

A  part  of  the  investing  force  was,  therefore,  detailed  for  other 
duty,  and  the  observation  of  the  fortress  was  handed  over  to  four 
Bavarian  landwehr  battalions  and  a  light  field-battery.  The 
heavy  siege  artillery  were  sent  back  to  Grermersheim.  The  force 
remaining  before  the  fortress  made  every  preparation  for  the 
winter.  The  main  body  went  into  conveniently  situated  canton- 
ments— some  troops  being  held  in  constant  readiness— and  the 
supports  of  the  outposts  were  put  into  huts  erected  for  the 
purpose  wherever  required.  Terrible  damage  was  inevitably  done 
to  property  in  the  afflicted  town,  but  every  alleviation  that  was 
practicable  was  now  afforded  to  the  people,  both  as  regarded  their 
maintenance  and  their  trade ;  it  was,  however,  a  question  whether 
these  concessions  granted  to  the  town  were  not  made  use  of  for  the 
benefit  of  the  French  garrison,  and  especially  for  the  completion  of 
their  stocks  of  provisions. 

The  observation  of  the  fortress  from  a  greater  distance  was 
continued  quietly,  except  when  an  occasional  encounter  with  the 
garrison  took  place. 

Such  an  event  was  the  sortie  undertaken  by  the  French  at 
midnight  on  the  30th  September,  which  was  directed  against  the 
Rosshall  farm.  This  place,  consisting  of  two  homesteads,  was 
set  on  fire  by  the  troops  engaged  in  the  sortie,  who  were  not  till 
after  four  hours'  fighting  driven  back  into  the  fortress,  from  which 
they  sallied  forth  a  second  time  at  8  o'clock  on  the  following 
morning.  It  was  generally  believed  that  these  two  sorties  were 
merely  undertaken  to  facilitate  foraging  operations  in  the  neigh- 
bourhood and  the  supply  of  provisions  to  the  fortress,  for  which 
purpose  there  was  no  want  of  co-operation  from  the  people  of  the 
country.     For  similar  reasons,  apparently,   the  French   made   a 


reconnaissance  on  the  19th  November  to  Hottweiler,  where  a 
slight  engagement  took  place. 

Then  the  winter  came  on,  which  made  the  duty  of  keeping 
guard  over  the  fortress  very  severe  for  the  investing  force ;  but 
their  condition  was  so  far  improved,  that  the  garrison  remained 
peaceably  in  their  works,  and  gave  no  occasion  for  further  hos- 

In  the  convention  agreed  to  between  Grermany  and  France  on 
the  11th  March,  1871,  which  related  to  the  restoration  of  the 
French  prisoners  of  war,  the  necessary  [stipulations  were  made 
with  regard  to  the  garrison  of  the  fortress  of  Bitsch,  which  was 
given  over  to  Germany  at  the  conclusion  of  peace.  It  was 
allowed  that  the  garrison  of  Bitsch  should  march  out  with 
all  the  honours  of  war.  They  were  to  take  with  them 
arms,  baggage,  warlike  stores,  and  all  records  not  belonging  to  the 
fortress.  The  surrender  of  the  fortress  was,  however,  delayed  until 
the  end  of  the  month  of  March.  The  French  garrison,  about 
3,000  strong,  was  moved  in  several  detachments  to  Versailles, 
where  they  arrived  on  the  6th  April.  On  the  26th  March  detach- 
ments of  the  Bavarian  investing  force  occupied  the  town  and  the 
fort,  and  remained  until  they  were  relieved,  on  the  2nd  April,  by 
the  1st  battalion  of  the  60th  regiment,  thenceforward  to  be  the 
Prussian  garrison. 

The  town  had  suffered  much  from  the  bombardment.  Of  390 
dwelling-houses,  150  were  entirely  destroyed,  and  the  rest  more  or 
less  injured.  The  damage  was  estimated  at  1,340,000  francs, 
exclusive  of  the  loss  of  moveable  property. 

The  little  fortress  could  boast  that  it  was  blockaded  during  the 
whole  of  the  time  the  war  lasted,  and  remained  unconquered.  It 
is,  however,  the  fact,  as  we  have  seen,  that  the  Germans  never 
besieged  it  in  earnest. 

C  2 



(plate  v.) 

The  fortress  of  Toul  has  7,000  inhabitants,  and  is  situated  thirty- 
five  (164  English)  miles  from  Paris,  on  the  left  bank  of  the  Moselle, 
in  a  valley  also  intersected  by  many  smaller  streams.  On  the 
north  the  fortress  is  commanded  by  the  Mont  St.  Michel,  defen- 
sively a  most  important  position,  which  in  the  plans  for  the  recon- 
struction of  the  fortress,  about  thirty  years  ago,  was  disregarded  in 
a  manner  that  now  appears  unaccountable,  because  the  effects  of 
long-range  rifled  guns  upon  siege  operations  were  not  then  known. 
The  road  from  Nancy  crosses  the  Moselle.  The  work  rests  upon 
the  river,  which  can  be  dammed  up,  so  as  to  form  an  inundation. 
For  this  purpose  assistance  can  also  be  obtained  from  the  Ehine- 
Marne  canal. 

The  fortifications  consist  of  a  bastioned  nonagon,  with  several 
ravelins,  no  flank  defences  in  the  ditch,  earthen  counterscarps,  and 
revetted  scarps.  They  completely  encircle  the  town,  but  outside 
the  works  are  situated  the  suburbs  of  St.  Mansuy  on  the  north- 
east, and  St.  Evre  on  the  south-west.  The  place  is  rated  as  a 
fortress  of  the  second  class,  and  is  built  without  casemates.  In 
default  of  them  some  blindages  for  guns  had  been  made  on  the 
ramparts.  The  garrison  were  lodged  in  private  houses  and  huts^ 
There  are  no  main  bombproof  magazines  for  powder.  Outworks 
there  are  none,  but  some  bastions  are  provided  with  cavaliers.  The 
railway  lies  on  the  north-west  of  the  town,  some  500  paces  from 
the  fortress.  The  cathedral  has  some  architectural  merit.  It  is 
bviilt  in  the  gothic  style  of  the  thirteenth  and  fourteenth  cen- 
turies, and  has  four  magnificent  towers  and  very  fine  stained-glass 

Although  the  fortress  placed  no  important  obstacle  in  the  way 
of  the  advance  of  the  Ilird  army,  still  the  transport  of  supplies 
and  stores  of  every  description  was  much  delayed,  in  spite  of  the 
use  made  of  the  numerous  bye-roads,  and  ran  some  risk  from  the 
attacks  of  marauding  gardes-mobiles  and  franc-tireurs.  The  con- 
veyance of  the  sick  and  wounded  to  the  rear  became  continually 
more  difficult  as  the  army  advanced,  and  the  time  was  indefinitely 
postponed  when  it  would  be  possible  for  the  transport  department 
to  bring  to  the  front,  as  rapidly  as.  was  desired,  the  artillery  stores 
of  all  descriptions  required  for  the  contemplated  siege  of  Paris. 
Our  complete  and  excellent  railway  organisation  became  paralysed 
at  Toul,  so  that  even  at  this  time  it  had  been  considered  whether  a 
line  branching  off  from  Frouard  should  not  be  constructed.    Thus, 

Plate.  V. 

-  Fapyrotype  S.M.E. 


from  the  undeniable  present  strategical  importance  of  the  fortress, 
the  occupation  of  Toul  had  become  for  us  a  necessity. 

On  the  14th  August  the  head  of  the  advance  guard  of  the 
4th  cavalry  division  appeared  before  the  place,  and,  after  a  slight 
engagement  with  the  cavalry  of  the  garrison  (cuirassiers  and  geus- 
d'armes),  summoned  the  place  to  surrender,  but  in  vain.  For  this 
purpose  Lieutenant  the  Prince  of  Hohenlohe  was  sent  with  a  flag 
of  truce  ;  he  was  fired  upon. 

The  advanced  guard  of  the  IVth  army  corps,  coming  up  at  this 
jimcture,  received  orders  to  make  a  reconnaissance  in  force  towards 
Toul.  The  bearer  of  a  flag  of  truce  sent  on  before  returned  without 
having  achieved  any  results,  and  the  trumpeter  who  accompanied 
him  was  shot.  On  the  17th  August  two  Prussian  batteries  were  placed 
in  position — one  under  the  hill  of  St.  Michel,  the  other  on  the  road 
by  Grondreville  to  Nancy — on  the  east  of  the  fortress.  They  shelled 
the  place,  and  fire  soon  broke  out  at  the  Moselle  gate.  The  formation 
of  the  ground  in  the  immediate  neighbourhood,  and  the  inundation 
that  had  been  made,  apart  from  the  strength  of  the  fortifications, 
made  it  impracticable  to  carry  the  place  by  storm.  This  demon- 
stration caused  considerable  losses,  especially  to  the  27th  and  93rd 

Upon  this  the  army  corps  resumed  its  advance,  and  orders 
were  issued  from  the  headquarters  of  the  Ilird  army  for  a  close 
investment  of  the  place  by  the  7th  Bavarian  brigade  under  General 
Thiereck,  two  squadrons  of  light  cavalry,  and  two  field  batteries. 
Of  the  Prussians,  the  corps  artillery  of  the  Vlth  corps  and  the  38th 
regiment  of  Silesian  fusiliers,  under  the  command  of  Lieutenant- 
General  von  Gfordon,  stayed  behind  to  assist  the  Bavarians. 

The  Prussian  batteries  were  placed  in  well-covered  positions  on 
the  slopes  of  the  hills,  near  the  village  of  Dommartin  ;  the  Bavarian 
batteries  on  Mont  St.  Michel  and  at  the  village  of  La  Justice,  which 
joins  on  to  and  is  a  suburb  of  the  town.  The  French  allowed  the 
batteries  to  be  prepared  unmolested,  although  a  sortie  of  the 
garrison  might  have  been  advantageously  directed  against  them. 
The  distance  of  all  the  batteries  from  the  place  was  nearly  the 
same — about  2,500  paces.  Orders  were  issued  by  H.R.H.  the 
Commander-in-Chief  to  spare  the  town,  and  especially  the  cathe- 
dral. P^or  this  reason,  and  also  because  it  was  desired  to  obtain 
the  surrender  of  the  fortress  without  bombardment,  Colonel 
Arnold,  of  the  6th  Prussian  regiment  of  field  artillery, 
was  sent  into  the  place  with  a  flag  of  truce.  He  was  referred  to 
the  council  of  war,  and  brought  back  the  reply  that  they  would 
not  listen  to  proposals  for  a  capitulation.  It  was  then  observed 
that  the  preparation  of  the  defences  for  a  siege  was  not  completed, 
as  was  indeed  generally  the  case.  Neither  the  railway-works  nor 
the  houses  in  the  neighbourhood,  shutting  in  the  fortifications, 
"were  destroyed  or  removed.  The  plantations  left  standing  on 
the  glacis  did  certainly  prevent  the  besiegers  from  seeing  into 
the  work,  but  the  view  from  INIont  St.  Michel  was  entirely  unin- 

On  the  23rd  August,  at  8.45  a.m.,  the  bombardment  began, 


and  was  directed  at  first  solely  against  the  works,  but  afterwards 
upon  the  town.  A  barrack  and  a  forage-store  were  set  on  fire, 
and  unfortunately  also  a  military  hospital  near  the  barrack  was 
burnt  down.  Five  of  these  hospitals  had  been  marked  con- 
spicuously by  the  French  with  white  flags  with  the  red  cross  upon 

Lieutenant-Colonel  von  Hartmann  was  sent  with  a  second  flag 
of  truce  to  the  fortress,  accompanied  by  two  civilians,  but  without 
results,  and  the  firing,  therefore,  was  resumed.  Meanwhile  the 
Prussian  artillery  received  orders  to  follow  the  Ilird  army  in  their 
advance  to  Chalons,  whilst  the  Bavarian  batteries  continued  their 
operations  before  the  fortress.  Unfortunately,  it  was  not  possible 
to  spare  the  towers  of  the  cathedral,  for  one  of  them  was  used  as 
an  observatory  by  the  French  garrison.  The  shot,  however,  struck 
only  the  flat  roof  of  the  tower,  and  destroyed  some  architectural 
decorations,  but  without  in  any  way  injuring  the  beautiful  fabric 
of  the  building.  The  French  responded  at  first  with  moderate 
vigour,  and  fired  against  the  German  batteries,  from  their  heavy 
guns,  every  description  of  projectile  applicable — round-shot,  shell, 
and  shrapnel. 

The  French  chassepot  bullets  fell  in  the  Grerman  batteries, 
showing  the  great  range  of  these  weapons.  Altogether  there  must 
have  been  fired  against  tlie  fortress  some  600  rounds  from  the 
Bavarian  guns,  and  about  2,500  from  the  Prussian. 

On  the  capitulation  of  Sedan  the  intelligence  of  that  event 
was  communicated  to  the  commandant.  Meanwhile  direc- 
tions had  been  given  to  use  against  the  fortress  heavy  smooth- 
bore garrison  guns,  to  be  brought  up  to  Toul  from  Marsal. 
The  transport  of  the  guns  over  the  slippery  country  roads,  made 
soft  by  rain,  and  up  to  the  elevated  sites  of  the  batteries,  was  a 
matter  of  much  difficulty. 

The  place  was  only  invested  by  the  landwehr  garrison  regi- 
ment of  Torgau,  under  the  command  of  Colonel  von  Hippel.  It 
was  the  supposition  that  a  larger  body  of  troops  was  present 
for  this  purpose  that  prevented  the  enemy  from  making  sorties. 
He  confined  himself  entirely  to  observation,  ai^d  to  sending  out 
the  usual  patrols. 

Special  mention  should  be  made  of  the  bombardment  which 
took  place  on  the  9th  and  10th  September,  after  one  more  useless 
summons  to  surrender.  On  the  last  day  nearly  1,000  rounds  were 
fired  during  nine  hours.  The  batteries  were  placed  on  both  sides 
of  the  road  to  Ecrouves,  not  far  from  the  porcelain-factorj'-. 

But  this  attempt  to  make  use  of  the  garrison  artillery,  that 
had  arrived,  seemed  not  to  produce  the  effect  desired,  owing  to  the 
invariably  long  range,  the  want  of  made-up  ammunition,  and  the 
small  striking  force  of  the  projectiles.  The  garrison  expected  relief 
from  a  force  said  to  be  5,000  strong,  and  to  be  coming  up 
from  Langres. 

On  the  1 3th  September  tlie  1 7th  division,  under  the  command 
of  Lieutenant-Gfeneral  von  Schimmelmann,  being  considerably 
strengthened  in  field  artillery,  relieved  the  landwehr  troops,  and 


advanced  their  outposts  much  nearer  the  fortress,  in  order  by  degrees 
to  shut  the  garrison  in  more  closely,  and,  as  far  as  possible,  to  pre- 
vent them  from  communicating  with  the  suburbs.  This  operation 
was  not,  however,  to  be  accomplished  without  loss,  for  the  enemy, 
bringing  a  well-directed  fire  from  wall-pieces  to  bear,  resisted  the 
assailants  to  the  uttermost.  A  reconnaissance  of  the  ground  round 
the  fortress,  in  which  his  Royal  Highness  the  Grand  Duke  of 
Mecklenbm'g  himself  took  part,  made  it  evident  that  the  place 
could  be  seen  into  from  Mont  Michel  in  a  manner  scarcely 

On  the  Prussian  side  they  went  at  once  to  work  to  place  three 
heavy  field-batteries  on  Mont  Michel,  a  task  which,  laborious  as  it 
was,  was  accomplished  by  the  artillery  in  one  night,  so  that  the 
guns  were  able  to  open  fire  by  the  following  morning.  The  fire  was 
directed  on  the  covered  emplacements  for  guns  on  the  defences, 
and  against  the  observatory  on  the  cathedral.  It  was  interesting 
here  to  observe  with  what  precision  the  artillery  fired,  although 
the  distance  was  1,900  paces.  The  second  shell  fell  right  on  the 
roof  of  the  magnificent  church,  and  knocked  the  objectionable 
observatory  from  its  place. 

On  September  16th  Captain  von  Rochow,  of  the  cavalry,  was 
sent  with  a  flag  of  truce  into  the  fortress,  but  without  result.  As 
on  former  occasions,  he  was  fired  upon. 

On  the  next  day,  as  well  as  on  September  18th,  the  whole  of 
the  field-batteries  were  employed — namely,  four  Mecklenburg  and 
three  Prussian  batteries,  which  had  meanwhile  been  placed  in 
separate  positions  around  the  fortress :  on  the  one  hand  to  harass 
the  garrison,  for  which  purpose  they  fired  alternately  at  the  bar- 
racks and  at  the  observatory,  which  was  again  and  again  replaced ; 
and,  on  the  other  hand,  to  reply  shot  for  shot  to  the  fortress,  in 
order  to  silence  its  batteries,  which  was  also  done  in  a  short  time. 

On  September  16th,  orders  were  received  for  the  removal  of  a 
brigade  of  infantry,  the  75th  and  76th  Hanseatic  regiments,  the 
cavalry,  except  one  regiment  of  dragoons,  and  the  whole  of  the 
light  field-batteries.  The  remainder  were,  however,  considered 
sufficient  for  the  capture  of  the  fortress. 

There  were  left  before  the  place  only  seven  battalions  of  in- 
fantry, of  the  89th  and  90tli  Mecklenburg  regiments,  and  the  14th 
jager  battalion,  besides  a  company  of  pioneers,  three  heavy  and 
one  horse  artillery  battery,  and  a  regiment  of  cavalry,  the  18th 
Mecklenburg  dragoons.  As  the  force  was  so  reduced,  the  invest- 
ment of  the  place  had  to  be  kept  up  with  redoubled  vigilance. 
The  outpost  duties  of  the  troops,  therefore,  obviously  necessitated 
great  exertions.  These  duties  were,  nevertheless,  materially 
increased,  when  the  siege  artillery  arrived  before  Toul  on  September 
20,  with  a  complete  siege-train,  consisting  of  ten  rifled  24-pounders 
and  sixteen  rifled  12-pounders,  under  the  command  of  Lieutenant- 
Colonel  Bartsch,  and  when,  on  the  21st  and  22nd  September,  suffi- 
cient means  being  at  hand,  they  were  able  to  proceed  to  the  estab- 
lishment of  the  depot  and  the  construction  of  the  batteries. 
Moreover,   the   preparations    above  mentioned  for   the  engineer 


attack,  imder  the  direction  of  Major  Schumann,  of  the  engineers, 
required  a  veiy  considerable  number  of  men.  The  field-officer 
named  had  been  present  before  Toul  for  some  time,  and  had  taken 
in  hand  the  most  necessary  reconnaissances.  He  had  perceived 
that  bastion  No.  2  was  unmistakably  the  point  for  attack,  and  in 
consequence  of  the  simple  character  of  the  profile,  and  the  inva- 
riable Aveakness  of  the  artillery  of  the  defence  (which  had  become 
more  obvious  during  the  progress  of  the  siege),  had  proposed  an 
abridged  formal  attack.  The  idea  was  to  open  a  parallel  some 
500  paces  from  the  work,  making  a  covered  communication  only, 
•where  necessary,  and  then  advance  direct  on  the  breach,  which 
was  to  be  made  by  curved  fire.  It  was  hoped  that  the  water  in 
the  ditch  of  the  work  might  be  drawn  off  by  blowing  up  certain 
sluices,  or  by  breaching  a  batardeau  that  had  been  discovered  with 
much  pains.  By  his  direction  Lieutenant  Strobel,  of  the  com- 
pany of  Bavarian  pioneers,  stationed  in  Ecrouves  as  an  '  Etappen ' 
garrison,  had  very  cleverly  blown  up  a  sluice.  This  demolition, 
however,  did  not  produce  the  desired  effect. 

In  order  that  tlie  projected  works  might  be  executed  in  safety, 
the  outposts  were  pushed  up  as  close  as  possible  to  the  ramparts, 
and  all  the  suburbs — viz.  St.  Just,  St.  Evre,  and  Mansuy — were 
occupied.  The  operation  of  forming  a  lodgment  was,  however, 
interfered  with  by  the  shells  of  tlie  enemy,  which  set  the  villages 
on  fire  in  some  places,  and  inflicted  considerable  loss  on  the  troops 
engaged.  Two  battalions  of  infantry,  besides  the  whole  of  the 
artillery  and  the  pioneers,  were  required  for  the  formation  of  the 
battery  depots  and  the  construction  of  ten  siege-batteries,  and 
by  an  extraordinary  effort  the  latter  were  got  ready  to  open 
fire  early  on  the  23rd.  From  the  first  no  great  results  were 
anticipated  from  the  fire  of  the  siege  artillery.  The  enemy  had, 
indeed,  answered  the  fire  of  our  guns,  though  not  with  much 
vigour.  The  fire  was  especially  feeble  from  the  mortars,  which 
could  not  be  got  at  by  the  Prussians.  This  scanty  mortar-fire 
must,  however,  be  considered  as  a  measure  of  prudence  on  the  part 
of  the  defenders,  in  order  to  preserve  their  guns  until  the  last  mo- 
ment. Now,  however,  they  showed  with  what  force  they  could 
reply,  so  that  it  became  our  object  to  reduce  them  to  silence  as 
soon  as  possible. 

H.E.H.  the  Grrand  Duke  of  Mecklenburg-Schwerin,  com- 
manding the  13th  army  corps,  had  arrived  at  Choloy  from 
Rheims  on  the  night  of  the  23rd,  in  order  to  be  present  at  the 
close  of  the  siege.  Mont  Barine,  near  Mont  St.  jMichel,  was 
used  as  a  point  of  observation,  H.R.H.  the  Grrand  Duke  and 
Greneral  von  Schimmelmann  remained  there  to  watch  the  events 
expected  to  take  place ;  the  batteries  proceeded  with  their 
allotted  tasks  during  the  morning ;  the  breaching  battery  acted 
chiefly  as  a  counter-battery,  as  a  clump  of  trees  and  houses 
prevented  it  from  performing  its  legitimate  duty.  The  enemy 
answered  the  fire  principally  with  mortars,  for  the  other  pieces 
on  the  ramparts  were  soon  silenced.  Several  military  buildings 
and  magazines  took  fire ;  it  was  also  observed  what  good  results 
attended  the  artillery  practice  on  the  porte  de  la  France.     On  the 


other  hand,  the  enemy's  shells,  about  11  o'clock  in  the  forenoon, 
set  the  suburbs  of  Mansuy  and  St.  Evre  in  flames,  both  of  which 
were  occupied  by  the  Germans. 

All  arrangements  had  been  made,  in  order,  with  tlie  help  of 
the  men  available,  to  throw  up,  on  the  night  of  the  24th,  the 
parallel,  of  which  the  position  had  already  iDeen  determined  by 
the  engineer  officers,  when,  at  4  o'clock  in  the  afternoon,  it 
was  reported  that  the  white  flag  waved  on  the  cathedral.  The 
flag  was  but  small,  and  it  could  not  therefore  be  made  out,  with 
certainty,  whether  there  was  not  a  red  cross  on  it.  Recently  the 
enemy  had  often  resorted  to  the  jilan  of  hoisting  a  flag  of  this 
kind  near  the  ramparts,  for  the  purpose  of  repairing  any  injuries 
clone  to  the  guns. 

The  waving  of  a  white  flag  on  the  cathedral  had,  however, 
been  agreed  upon  as  a  signal  that  the  Commandant  was  willing 
to  enter  into  negotiations.  H.R.H.  the  Grrand  Duke  had, 
before  the  arrival  of  this  intelligence,  gone  from  ]Mont  Barine  for 
a  short  time  to  Choloy.  On  receipt  of  the  news,  His  Royal  High- 
ness and  his  staff  at  once  mounted  their  horses,  and  rode  to  the 
scene  of  action.  On  the  way  to  Toul  he  met  Major  (Command- 
ing) von  Zeuner,  who  was  bringing  with  liim  a  French  staff- 
officer,  on  horseback,  with  his  eyes  bandaged.  This  officer  brought 
a  letter  from  the  commandant,  announcing  his  willingness  to 
treat  with  the  Greneral  of  the  North  German  Confederation. 
Colonel  von  Krensky,  Chief  of  the  general  staff  of  the  Xlllth 
army  corps,  was  accordingly  sent  for  this  purpose  to  the  com- 
mandant of  the  fortress  of  Toul,  and  on  the  glacis  of  the  work 
the  negotiations  for  a  capitulation  were  brought  to  a  successful 
conclusion,  on  the  basis  of  tlie  terms  granted  at  Sedan.  The 
French  garrison — some  2,300  men,  including  a  few  line  soldiers, 
but  most  of  them  gardes  mobiles,  with  130  cuirassiers — filed  out 
of  the  fortress  on  to  the  glacis  in  front  of  the  Porte  de  la 
France ;  whilst  the  troops  of  the  division,  or  as  many  of  them  as 
could  be  got  together,  marched  with  great  demonstrations  of  joy 
into  the  fortress  and  the  town.  The  prisoners  were  moved  into 
bivouac  near  the  fortress.  Of  the  109  officers,  as  many  as  gave 
their  parole  not  to  serve  any  more  against  Prussia  were  allowed  to 
depart,  and  the  remainder  were  kept  in  the  fortress  under  the 
guarantee  of  the  commandant.  The  quantity  of  military  stores 
captured  was  considerable,  and  included  30,000  stand  of  arms, 
120  guns,  150,000  cartridges,  and  other  things,  besides  a  flag  and 
some  standards.  On  the  25th,  at  11  a.m.,  the  formal  entry 
into  the  town  took  place,  under  the  command  of  H.R.H.  the 
Grand  Duke  of  Mecklenburg  and  his  Highness  the  Duke  of 
Altenburg.  The  troops  paraded  in  the  Place  Dauphine,  where 
the  Grand  Duke  caused  a  cheer  to  be  given  for  the  Com- 
mander-in-Chief, His  Majesty  the  King.  The  inhabitants  had 
been  shut  up  in  the  fortress  for  six  weeks,  and  the  North  German 
troops  were  welcomed  by  them  as  deliverers.  The  garrison  had 
conducted  themselves  with  extreme  bravery.  They  only  yielded 
when  they  had  fired  their  last  shell. 



(plate  VI.) 

Laon,  a  town  of  10,500  inhabitants,  is  situated  on  an  isolated  hill 
about  80  metres  (262  feet)  high,  which  commands  the  Ardon,  an 
affluent  of  the  Ailette.  It  is  at  the  junction  of  four  railways,  of 
which  two  come  from  the  north-east  and  the  south-east,  from 
Belgimn  and  from  Eheims  ;  while  the  other  two  lead  on  to  the 
westward,  to  Terg-nier  (for  Namur,  Amiens,  and  Paris),  and  to 
Soissons  (for  Paris).  Besides  this,  the  roads  from  Montcornet, 
Vervins,  Crecy  sur  Serre,  Crepy,  Chauny,  Coucy,  Vailly,  Fismes, 
and  Kethel  all  meet  in  Laon,  so  that  it  is  one  of  the  most  important 
points  for  an  army  operating  against  Paris.  Laon  might  have  been 
a  rendezvous  for  the  gardes  nationales  and  gardes  mobiles,  and 
from  it  they  could  have  continually  disturbed  our  communications 
with  the  rear.  It  is  situated  at  a  distance  of  140  kilometres  (87 
English  miles)  from  Paris  by  the  Soissons  road,  and  158  kilometres 
(98  English  miles)  by  Tergnier. 

The  isolated  hill  on  which  Laon  is  situated  is  shaped  like  a 
half-moon,  with  the  horns  to  the  east. 

The  citadel,  which  was  strengthened  under  Louis  Philippe,  is 
on  the  eastern  point  of  the  hill,  and  commands  in  part  the  railway 
station  (the  only  one)  on  the  north  of  the  town,  near  the  suburb 
of  St.  Marcel,  and  to  a  less  extent  the  suburbs  of  La  Neuville 
and  Semilly,  lying  to  the  westward  and  southward ;  but  more 
especially  the  ground  lying  opposite  to  the  east  front,  with  the 
suburbs  of  Vaux  and  d' Ardon. 

A  section  of  the  15th  (ulan)  regiment  had  summoned  the  com- 
mandant of  the  garrison  of  Laon  to  surrender  on  the  8th  September, 
and  he  had  asked  for  time  for  consideration  till  4  o'clock  in  the 
afternoon.  When  the  news  of  this  reached  the  6th  cavalry  dirision, 
Colonel  von  Alvensleben'was  sent  to  Laon  with  the  15th  cavalry 
brigade  and  a  mounted  battery,  and  took  with  him  a  treaty  of 
capitulation,  ready  drawn  out.  To  Colonel  von  Alvensleben  the 
commandant  again  made  objections,  and  begged  for  further  time 
for  consideration,  till  9  o'clock  on  the  morning  of  the  9th 
September.  The  4th  jager  battalion  had  been  brought  up  the 
day  before  as  far  as  Eppes,  and  a  battery  of  the  4th  corps  had 
marched  into  St.  Quentin.  On  the  9th  September,  at  6  a.m.,  the 
14th  cavalry  brigade  and  a  horse  artillery  battery  also  started  for 
Laon.  '  On  his  arrival  at  Eppes  Colonel  von  Alvensleben  reported 
that  the  capitulation  was  concluded,  and  that  the  citadel,  with  all 
the  troops  and  military  stores,  would  be  given  over  to  the  division 
about  half-past  1 1  o'clock. 

Plate  Vf. 

papyrotype,  s.  m  e 


Probably  the  cause  of  this  hasty  and  unexpected  surrender  was 
the  open  dissension  between  the  commandant,  the  prefect,  the 
mayor  and  the  gardes  mobiles,  which  was  such  that  none  of  the 
authorities  mentioned  would  trust  one  anotlier ;  and  this,  con- 
sidering the  state  of  affairs,  was  undoubtedly  a  great  evil. 

The  division  marched  into  Laon,  both  batteries  took  up  a 
position  before  the  town,  and  the  14th  cavalry  brigade  formed 
up  next  to  them.  The  15th  cavalry  brigade  had  previously 
occupied  all  the  roads  round  Laon,  and  remained  in  their  position. 
The  jager  battalion  detached  a  company  to  occupy  the  suburbs  ; 
two  companies  marched  up  to  the  marketplace  of  Laon,  and 
occupied  all  the  outlets  ;  the  4th  company  marched  with  the 
divisional  staff  and  the  staffs  of  the  two  brigades  to  the  citadel. 
The  heads  of  the  '  Intendant '  department  and  Captain  Mann,  of 
the  horse  artillery  battery,  also  accompanied  them — the  former  to 
take  over  the  general  stores,  the  latter  the  garrison  guns  and  ma- 
teriel of  war. 

At  the  entrance  of  the  citadel  there  was  a  guard  of  the  gardes 
mobiles,  which  was  at  once  relieved  by  a  section  of  the  jagers.  In 
the  courtyard  of  the  citadel  was  stationed  the  garrison — consisting 
of  about  2,000  men  of  the  gardes  mobiles,  and  one  subdivision  of 
infantry  of  the  line  of  the  55th  regiment — ready  to  march  off. 

The  capitulation  then  took  place,  on  the  basis  of  that  of  Sedan. 
All  the  officers  who  gave  their  word  of  honour  not  to  take  further 
part  against  Grermany  were  allowed  to  leave.  The  arms  were  laid 
down,  and  the  gardes  mobiles,  after  they  had  bound  themselves  by 
oath  not  to  fight  any  more  against  Grermany,  were  let  go.  Finally 
the  party  of  infantry  of  the  line  were  conducted  to  the  town  under 
escort.  A  great  part  of  the  officers,  as  well  as  the  commandant 
himself,  remained  behind  in  the  courtyard  of  the  citadel,  when, 
as  soon  as  the  last  man  of  the  gardes  mobiles  had  passed 
the  gate  of  the  citadel,  about  two  o'clock  in  the  afternoon, 
two  terrible  explosions  took  place,  one  immediately  after  the 

The  powder-magazine,  into  which  probably  all  the  shells  and 
grenades  had  been  brought,  Avith  26,000  kilogrammes'^  of  powder 
in  bulk,  besides  all  the  cartridges,  blew  up,  and  apparently  also  a 
mine.  The  magazine  stood  at  the  edge  of  the  courtyard  of  the 
citadel.  All  the  persons  present  in  the  courtyard,  as  well  as 
the  company  of  jagers  posted  there,  were  almost  buried  under 
the  earth  and  rubbish.  The  shells,  loose  stones,  and  fragments  of 
masonry  iBew  right  into  and  beyond  the  suburbs  lying  beneath 
Laon,  and  injured  men,  houses,  and  roofs.  The  destruction  was 
frightful.  Almost  every  person  in  the  courtyard  of  the  citadel  at 
the  time  was  either  killed  or  wounded — some  severely,  and  some 
slightly.  The  half-company  of  jagers  lay  on  the  parade-ground 
horribly  mutilated,  and  40  of  them  were  killed  on  the  spot.  Duke 
William  of  Mecklenburg,  commanding  the  division.  Colonel  Count 
Grroben,  Major  von  Schonfels,  of  the  general  staff,  and  Lieutenant 
Count  Koss,   of  the  King's  hussars,  were  more  or  less  wounded. 

*  26  tons,  or  585  barrels. 


Captain  Mann,  the  only  officer  on  horseback  at  the  moment,  was 

The  commandant,  General  Theremin  d'Hame,  was  arraigned 
before  a  Prussian  court-martial,  but,  however,  no  blame  for  the 
unhappy  event  could  be  brought  home  to  him.  Probably  it  had 
been  caused  by  a  subaltern  of  garrison  artillery  named  Henriot, 
actuated  by  revenge,  who  had  found  means  to  obtain  the  key  of 
the  powder-magazine.  At  the  same  time  he  himself  perished. 
General  Theremin  d'Hame  died  on  the  14th  October,  of  the  wound 
he  had  received  from  the  explosion. 

The  booty  consisted  of  35  guns  (of  which  8  were  rifled 
1 6-pounders)  2,000  stand  of  arms,  and  a  quantity  of  other  warlike 

The  town  had  to  pay  a  contribution  of  100,000  francs  (4,000^.). 


Plate  Vn 




(plate   VII.) 

Strasburg,  the  capital  of  Alsace,  with  85,000  inhabitants,  lies 
about  half  a  league  from  the  Rhine  on  the  river  111,  which  has 
abundance  of  water,  is  navigable,  and  divides  itself  into  five  streams. 
It  is  a  fortress  of  the  highest  military  importance.  It  commands 
the  passage  over  tlie  Rhine  into  Grermany,  and  has  on  that  account 
been  connected  with  Metz  and  Paris  on  the  one  side,  and  with 
Lyons  on  the  other  side,  by  railways,  roads,  and  canals.  It  is> 
moreover,  an  important  cavalry  depot,  and  contains  a  gun-factory, 
and  an  arsenal  for  the  manufacture  of  carriages  and  artillery 

The  nucleus  of  the  defences  is  the  citadel,  with  its  five  bastioned 
fronts,  built  by  Marshal  Vauban  in  1685  ;  and  this  is  further 
strengthened  by  two  advanced  hornworks,  and  a  number  of  smaller 
works  down  to  the  Rhine,  which  is  here  500  yards  in  width.  These 
command  the  enceinte.  On  the  north  and  south  the  town 
is  enclosed  by  an  enceinte  with  long  curtains  and  spacious  bastions, 
on  the  system  of  Specie,  which  terminate  on  the  parade-ground 
outside  the  citadel.  At  the  places  where  the  National  gate  and 
the  Stone  gate  are  situated,  the  defences  project  further  out 
into  the  country,  so  as  to  cover  the  roads  from  Wasselonne  and 
Molsheim,  and  particularly  that  from  Weissenburg,  by  means 
of  advanced  earthworks,  among  which  are  the  lunettes  52  and  53, 
often  mentioned  in  the  siege.  The  main  enceinte  of  the  west 
front  is  of  the  same  character  as  the  lines  already  described, 
except  that  bastions  Nos.  10,  11,  and  12,  at  the  north-west  angle, 
have  counterguards  for  additional  security.  Two  spacious  horn- 
works  are  placed  outside  the  west  front,  so  as  to  give  it  greater 
defensive  strength.  These  and  the  two  lunettes  52  and  53  are 
connected  by  a  glacis  common  to  both,  which  encloses  the  north 
and  south  fronts  in  a  suitable  manner.  The  profiles  are  designed 
with  regard  to  the  objects  of  the  works.  The  escarps  are  18  to  30 
feet  in  height,  according  to  the  importance  of  the  work.  On  this 
account,  and  as  the  ditches  are  provided  with  cunettes,  and  can  be 
filled  with  sufficient  water,  the  fortress  is  to  be  accounted  every- 
where proof  against  assault.  The  greater  number  of  the  traverses 
required  are  in  existence,  but  the  quantity  of  bombproof  cover 
for  troops,  warlike  stores,  and  provisions  is  insufiicient.  There  are 
no  detached  forts. 


Strasburg"  possesses  an  additional  means  of  defence  in  the 
power  of  making  use  of  the  111  for  partial  but  effective  inunda- 
tion. For  this  purpose,  at  the  spot  where  the  111  enters  the  town, 
a  large  sluice  is  fixed.  This,  and  the  numerous  other  works  for 
the  proper  management  and  control  of  the  water,  are  in  good  con- 
dition, and  in  situations  so  well  covered,  that  they  cannot  easily 
be  destroyed  by  distant  fire.  The  ground  in  front  of  the  south 
side  of  the  fortress  consists  for  the  most  part  of  low-lying  meadows 
intersected  by  numerous  watercourses.  It  can  be  placed  under 
water  for  a  considerable  distance  beyond  the  road,  and  the  artillery 
practice  ground.  This  is  also  practicable  with  the  low  ground 
along  the  foot  of  the  glacis  of  the  north  front,  and  with  the  glacis 
of  the  enceinte  of  the  north-west  front. 

The  ground  in  front  of  the  fortress  is  flat,  and  here  and  there 
the  view  is  interrupted  by  numerous  buildings,  and  by  plantations. 

On  the  west  front,  however,  the  ground  rises,  at  a  slope 
scarcely  perceptible,  to  the  spurs  of  the  Vosges  mountains,  about 
a  league  and  a  half  from  the  town. 

The  railway  Avhich  encircles  the  town  on  the  south  and  west 
has  two  stations — a  terminus  inside  the  town,  and  a  stopping-place 
outside,  at  the  Austerlitz  gate.  There  is  a  third  station  outside 
the  town  to  the  westward.  Frequent  mention  will  be  made  of  it 
during  the  siege.  The  railway  crosses  several  streams  running 
into  the  Ehine,  and  passes  over  the  river  itself  by  a  lattice- 
bridge,  309  metres  (338  yards)  long,  built  in  1858-61.  The  two 
banks  are  also  connected  by  a  bridge  of  boats. 

The  interior  of  the  town  shows  plainly  its  German  origin  and 
past  history.  Both  are  as  evident  in  its  architecture  as  in  the 
manners  and  customs,  both  public  and  private,  of  its  inhabitants. 
The  magnificent  cathedral  is  especially  interesting,  and  is  famous 
as  one  of  the  most  remarkable  monmnents  of  Grerman  archi- 
tecture. It  was  founded  in  510  by  Clovis,  destroyed  by  lightning 
in  1007,  restored  upon  the  plans  of  Erwin  von  Steinbach,  and 
completed  in  1439  by  Hans  Hiiltz,  of  Cologne. 

Commerce  is  flourishing,  owing  to  the  advantages  of  the 
situation  of  the  place.  The  junction  of  four  lines  of  railway, 
and  of  the  roads  from  Paris,  Lyons,  and  Basle,  the  water-carriage 
by  the  Ehone,  Rhine  and  Marne  canal,  and  the  proximity  of  the 
Rhine,  are  of  great  value  for  commercial  intercourse. 

Immediately  after  the  sudden  and  groundless  declaration  of 
war  with  Prussia  by  France,  it  seemed  as  if  Strasburg  was  to  be 
left  untouched  by  the  war,  for  it  was  evident  that  the  French 
invasion  of  Germany  and  attack  on  Cologne  must  be  begun  with 
the  right  flank  turned  towards  Rhenish  Bavaria.  But  when 
Southern  Germany  ranged  itself  on  the  Prussian  side,  the  situa- 
tion of  affairs  was  changed.  It  became  necessary  for  the  French 
armies  to  march  off  hastily  in  a  new  direction,  and  it  became 
more  probable  that  Strasburg  might  be  seriously  threatened.  All 
the  accounts  state  that  before  the  battle  of  Worth,  the  6th  corps, 
under  the  command  of  Marshal  Canrobert,  was  in  and  round 
Strasburg.     After  the  battle  was  lost  the  corps  marched  off  in 


the  direction  of  Metz,  and  the  garrison  of  Strasbmg  was  thus  so 
reduced  that  the  place  was  left  in  a  bad  plight.  Not  even  one 
company  of  engineers  was  left  in  the  now-threatened  fortress,  and 
its  garrison  consisted  chiefly  of  national  guards.  A  great 
number  of  stragglers  from  the  battle  of  Worth  found  ac- 
cordingly a  welcome  reception  at  Strasburg,  and  its  gates  also 
opened  for  the  reception  of  many  thousands  of  fugitive  country- 
people.  The  bridge  of  boats  was  broken  up,  and  on  the  22nd  of 
July  the  railway  lattice-bridge  was  blown  up  on  the  Baden  side 
of  the  river.  On  the  French  side  they  only  brought  the  swing- 
bridge  on  to  the  landward  piers,  and,  in  addition,  destroyed 
several  railway-bridges  over  the  Little  Ehine,  at  Neuhof  and 
elsewhere.  The  preparations  for  putting  the  works  and  arma- 
ments in  a  state  of  siege  were,  just  commenced,  when  the  enemy 
appeared  in  the  vicinity  of  the  fortress. 

After  the  battle  fought  by  the  Ilird  army  on  the  6th  August, 
at  Worth,  the  pursuit  of  the  retreating  French  was  the  first 
object.  The  division  of  the  Gfrand  Duchy  of  Baden,  which  stood 
on  the  extreme  left  of  the  army,  and  had  not  been  actually 
engaged  in  the  fight,  received  orders  to  advance  into  Alsace,  and 
in  the  first  instance  in  the  direction  of  Strasburg. 

On  the  8th  August  the  head  of  the  division  arrived  before 
Strasburg.  It  was  believed  that  the  fortress  was  occupied  almost 
exclusively  by  national  guards,  and  it  was  well  known  that  the 
preparation  of  the  works  for  a  siege  was  incomplete.  Lieutenant- 
General  von  Beyer,  commanding  the  division,  remained  with  the 
main  body  of  the  advanced  guard  a  league  and  a  half  from 
Strasburg,  and  sent  Major  von  Amerongen  into  the  fortress,  in 
order  to  represent  to  the  commandant  the  serious  disasters  of  the 
French  army  in  the  field,  and  to  demand  the  surrender  of  the 
place.  Tlie  commandant,  however,  rouglily  refused  the  demand, 
and  after  this  the  advanced  guard  employed  upon  this  recon- 
naissance withdrew  to  Brumath.  The  garrison  permitted  the 
enemy  to  advance  undisturbed  up  to  the  glacis,  and  made  no 
attempt  to  destroy  the  railways  or  telegraphs  to  Miihlhaus  and 
Lyons,  and  this  was  now  effected  by  us.  A  cavalry  detachment  of 
the  Grrand  Duchy  of  Baden,  under  the  command  of  Lieutenant 
Winsloe,  on  the  10th  August  destroyed  the  railway  at  Greispold- 
sheim,  three-quarters  of  a  mile  (three-and-a-half  English  miles) 
south  of  Strasburg.  Meanwhile  the  main  body  of  the  division 
approached,  so  that  on  the  12th  August  the  troops  had  taken  up 
their  positions  for  the  investment.  These  extended  round  the 
whole  of  the  ground  outside  the  fortress,  except  on  the  south  side, 
where  the  work  was  done  by  some  bodies  of  troops  from  Eastatt, 
who  had  crossed  the  Ehine  to  the  south  of  Strasburg.  Kehl  was 
occupied,  and  the  communication  with  Colmar  broken.  The 
French  did  not  allow  themselves  to  be  disturbed  in  their  prepara- 
tions for  a  siege,  on  the  glacis  and  the  ground  beyond.  They 
worked  on  at  the  construction  of  traverses,  the  preparation  of  the 
ramparts  for  defence,  and  the  removal  of  the  plantations  on  the 
glacis,  as  well  as  at  palisades  and  barricades  for  the  approaches. 


For  the  purpose  of  interrupting  these  works  three  slight  engage- 
ments took  place  on  the  13th  August. 

In  the  course  of  the  afternoon  some  selected  marksmen  were 
sent  up  to  the  glacis,  and  materially  interrupted  the  works  there, 
without  being  disturbed  by  the  heavy  fire  of  artillery  from  the 
ramparts.  About  1  a.m.  a  company  of  the  2nd  Baden  grenadiers 
(the  King  of  Prussia's)  advanced  in  the  same  direction,  in  order 
to  drive  back  some  parties  of  infantry,  who  had  meanwhile  come 
out  from  the  fortress  to  the  foot  of  the  glacis.  A  musketry  fight 
commenced,  and  by  tliis  means  the  object  was  successfully  ac- 
complished. The  company,  after  the  performance  of  their  duty, 
were,  in  returning,  followed  by  a  lieavy  fire  of  case  and  musketry, 
and  had  three  killed  and  eleven  wounded — among  the  latter  one 

In  another  direction  two  small  detachments  of  the  body 
guard  grenadiers  of  the  Crrand  Duchy  of  Baden,  each  led  by 
a  lieutenant,  and  provided  with  combustibles,  advanced  at  9 
o'clock  in  the  evening  against  the  railway-station  outside  the 
western  gate,  and  set  fire  to  a  loaded  railway-train  that  was  stand- 
ing there.  Two  sections  of  infantry  followed  quickly  up  to  the 
counterscarp  of  the  ditch,  delivered  their  fire  at  the  troops  who 
appeared  on  the  ramparts  and  at  the  guns  standing  there,  and 
quickly  retired  again.  A  field-battery  meanwhile  was  brought  up 
to  2,500  paces  from  the  fortress,  and  fired  upon  the  works  which 
were  lighted  up  by  the  flaming  railway-trucks.  The  enemy  upon 
this  commenced  a  persistent  but  perfectly  useless  fire.  At  a 
third  place,  as  early  as  11  o'clock  in  the  forenoon,  a  company  of 
the  5th  (Baden)  regiment  had  been  for  an  hour  under  fire  em- 
ployed in  the  demolition  of  the  enemy's  works  without  experiencing 
any  loss. 

On  the  14th  August  intelligence  was  received  of  the  issue,  on 
the  10th  of  that  month,  of  the  following  proclamation  by  the 
Commandant-in~Chief,  Divisional-General  Uhrich  : — 

"  To  the  Inhabitants  of  Strasburg! 

"  Disquieting  rumours,  and  fearful  reports,  have  been,  inten- 
tionally or  unintentionally,  spread  through  our  brave  city.  Some 
people  have  even  ventured  to  assert  that  it  will  surrender  without 

"  We  therefore  protest,  in  the  name  of  the  courageous  French 
population,  against  such  cowardly  and  criminal  weakness.  The 
ramparts  are  furnished  with  400  guns;  the  garrison  counts  11,000 
men,  besides  national  guards.  If  Strasburg  be  attacked,  Stras- 
burg will  be  defended  so  long  as  it  contains  a  soldier,  a  loaf,  and 
a  cartridge.  Let  the  well-disposed  be  calm  ;  let  the  others  go 
where  they  will. 

"Strasburg,  August  10th,  1870. 

"  The  Divisional-General  and  Commander-in-Chief, 

"  Uhrich. 

"  The  Prefect  of  the  Lower  Ehine, 

"  Baron  Pron." 


On  the  14th  August,  at  5  o'clock  in  the  morning,  a  com- 
pany of  tlie  5th  (Baden)  regiment  attacked  the  railway-station, 
and  opened  tire  from  the  railway  embankment  upon  the  workmen 
on  the  glacis.  The  fire  was  answered  by  some  of  the  guns  of  the 
place,  and  the  company  suffered  a  loss  of  three  severely  and  two 
slightly  wounded. 

In  the  course  of  the  day  General  von  Beyer  gave  over  the 
command  of  the  (Baden)  division  to  Greneral  the  Baron  von 
La  Roche,  commanding  the  cavalry  brigade.  The  division  was 
placed  under  the  orders  of  Lieutenant-Gfeneral  von  Werder,  of  the 
Prussian  Army,  Commander-in-Chief  of  the  army  corps  about  to 
be  formed  for  the  siege. 

In  the  evening  the  garrison  attempted  a  sortie  in  the  neigh- 
bourhood of  the  English  country-house  near  Hohnheim. 

On  the  15th  August,  at  4  a.m.,  the  Baden  pioneers  blew  up 
the  iron  bridge  wliich  leads  over  the  Rhine-Marne  canal  to 
Robertsaue,  below  the  orangery.  Field  artillery  fired  from  covered 
positions  at  the  works  of  defence  that  had  been  thrown  up,  in 
order  to  destroy  them,  while  under  cover  of  tlie  darkness  riflemen 
swarmed  close  up  to  the  ramparts,  causing  frequent  alarms  to  the 
garrison.  Lingolfsheim,  Wolfsheim,  Schiltiglieim,  and  Robertsaue 
were  already  occupied  by  tlie  besiegers,  so  that  the  place  was 
closely  invested  on  the  west  and  north,  and  on  the  south  as  far  as  to 
Ostwald.  In  their  possession  were  the  railway-stations  of  Brumath 
(to  Nancy  and  Metz),  Mutzig,  and  Colmar,  and  the  highroads  to 
Sels,  Hagenau,  Zabern,  Barre,  Colmar,  and  Basle.  The  commu- 
nications of  Strasburg  with  the  country  were  as  good  as  cut  off. 
It  was  suspected  that  an  underground  telegraph  line  existed  to 
Schlettstadt,  7^  miles  (35  English  miles)  distant. 

August  16. — Head-quarters  transferred  to  Mundolsheim. 

About  2  o'clock  in  the  afternoon  the  French  attempted  a  sortie 
in  greater  force,  with  about  1,500  men,  in  order  to  drive  back  the 
enemy  near  Illkirch,  a  league  south-east  of  Strasburg.  The  8th 
•company  of  the  3rd  (Baden)  regiment,  under  Captain  Kappler,  had 
pushed  forward  a  picket  from  Illkirch  over  the  bridge  of  the  Rhone 
canal  at  that  place.  About  2  p.m.  a  French  squadron  attacked 
them,  but  were  repulsed.  Immediately  the  enemy's  infantry  showed 
themselves,  while  a  heavy  fire  was  opened  against  the  bridge  over 
the  canal ;  and  a  detachment  of  the  enemy's  artillery  shelled 
Illkirch  from  a  position  in  rear,  and  set  fire  to  some  of  the  build- 
ings there.  At  the  commencement  of  this  attack  Captain  Kappler 
had  posted  his  whole  company  on  the  bridge  of  the  canal,  and 
sent  forward  two  strong  non-commissioned  officers'  patrols  by 
Orafensteden,  and  by  the  locks  to  the  northward  at  Ostwald 
respectively,  to  take  the  enemy  in  flank.  Major  Steinwacbs, 
commanding  the  battalion,  sent  immediately  out  of  Ostwald  the 
5th  and  6th  companies,  under  Captains  Nagel  and  Selteneck,  as 
well  as  Gobel's  battery.  Kappler's  company  had  for  half-an-hour 
answered  the  enemy's  fire  with  great  coolness  and  steadiness,  when 
the  enemy's  artillery  advanced  to  within  250  paces  of  the  bridge 
over  the   canal,  and  came  into  action.     The  commander  of  the 

36996.  D 


company  then  caused  a  short  and  rapid,  but  effective,  fire  to 
be  delivered,  and,  as  the  supports  had  by  this  time  come  up, 
attacked  with  the  bayonet.  The  enemy  did  not  stand  to  receive 
this  attack,  but  took  to  flight,  leaving  behind  3  guns,  8  wounded 
and  3  unwounded  prisoners,  and  20  killed,  as  well  as  several 
articles  of  their  equipment.  This  brilliant  success  cost  the  brave 
company  but  2  wounded.  A  subdivision  of  (robel's  battery  now 
crossed  the  bridge  over  the  canal  and  shelled  Weghaiisel,  in 
which  place  the  enemy  had  rallied  on  his  retreat.  The  5th 
and  6th  companies,  who  then  undertook  the  pursuit,  could  not 
again  come  up  with  the  enemy,  who  were  estimated  to  amount  to 
about  1,500  men — zouaves,  turcos,  chasseurs,  and  artillery. 

Augicst  17. — The  French  attempted  a  second  sortie  against  the 
Eobertsaue,  but  were  beaten  back.  On  the  Grerman  side  tlie  most 
exposed  parts  of  the  besiegers'  positions  were  prepared  for  defence 
in  a  proper  and  suitable  manner,  and  the  approaches  were 
barricaded.  Field-hospitals  were  established  in  Brumath,  Ven- 
denheim,  Oberhausbergen,  and  Hohnheim.  Prussian  railway  and 
Baden  telegraph  officials  took  over  the  duties  of  their  respective 
branches.  The  neighbourhood  was  requisitioned  for  labourers  and 
intrenching  tools,  and  in  some  places  resistance  was  made  and  ill- 
will  was  shown.  This  was  the  case  in  the  rich  towns  of  Ernstein  and 
Morstein,  whicli  had  in  consequence  to  pay  a  contribution, 
first  of  150,000  francs  (^^6,000),  and  in  the  end  of  300,000  francs 

In  the  forenoon  fire  was  opened  from  the  Baden  field^batteries, 
which  had  taken  up  a  position  in  a  line  with  Kehl.  The  fire 
■continiied  all  day,  and  was  briskly  answered  by  the  garrison. 
During  the  previous  night  a  sharp  action  of  artillery  and  in- 
fantry took  place  between  Konigshofen  and  Strasburg,  and  out- 
side the  west  front.  Several  houses  were  set  on  fire  there  by  the 

August  18. — Konigshofen  was  consequently  brought  within 
the  line  of  investment,  after  a  short  action  of  artillery.  The 
fire  from  Kehl  was  continued.  On  the  night  of  the  18th- 19th 
August  tlie  Baden  artillery  took  up  a  position  close  to  the  road 
from  Lingolfsheim  to  Strasburg,  and  set  on  fire  some  of  the  houses 
at  Strasburg  at  the  first  shot,  and  the  flames  spread  rapidly. 
The  enemy  answered  with  24-poimder  solid  shot. 

August  19.^The  fire  was  kept  up  from  16  field-guns,  chiefly 
against  the  citadel  and  the  adjoining  fronts.  It  was  opened  at 
7  A.M.,  stopped  from  12  till  2  o'clock,  and  continued  again  till 

The  fire  was  of  com-se  answered  by  the  artillery  of  the  garrison, 
who,  however,  shelled  not  only  the  batteries,  but  also  the  town  of 
Kehl,  which  lay  exposed,  beyond  the  line  of  fire.  Lieutenant-Oene- 
ral  von  Werder,  commanding  the  siege  corps,  remonstrated  against 
this  conduct  in  a  letter,  in  which  he  said :  "  Such  a  mode  of  war- 
fare, which  is  imheard  of  among  civilised  nations,  compels  me  to 
make  yoii  personally  responsible  for  the  consequences  of  this  action. 
I  shall,  moreover,  cause  the  damage  to  be  estimated,  and  obtain  com- 
pensation by  a  contribution  levied  in  Alsace." 


These  valuations  were,  in  fact,  made  in  Kehl,and  General  Uhrich 
is  said  to  have  replied  that  he  regarded  the  bombardment  of  the 
city  of  Kehl  as  reprisals,  on  account  of  the  city  of  Strasbm-g  having 
been  shelled  by  the  besiegers'  artillery  without  the  usual  notice 
being  sent  beforehand.  According  to  other  accounts,  however  (and 
this  should  be  noted),  Lieutenant-General  von  Werder,  on  the  con- 
trary, threatened  to  bombard  the  place  foiu'teen  days  beforehand, 
and  caused  the  proper  notice  to  be  sent  24  hours  before  the  firing 
began.  It  was  clearly,  therefore,  the  business  of  the  French  authori- 
ties to  pass  this  notice  on  to  the  citizens,  and  it  was  their  fault  that 
the  inhabitants  had  not  sufficient  time  to  prepare  for  the  bombard- 
ment, and  were  therefore  taken  by  surprise. 

It  should,  moreover,  be  observed,  that  in  the  absence  of  any  de- 
tached forts  round  Strasburg,  the  besieger  was  able  to  place  his 
batteries  comparatively  close  to  the  fortress,  and  that,  if  he  wanted 
to  fire  upon  the  works  at  all,  it  was  quite  inevitable  that  the  town 
should  also  be  struck,  and  should  suffer  terribly. 

On  the  19th  of  August  fom'teen  houses  were  biu-nt  down  in 
the  city  of  Kehl  (Stadt  Kehl),  and  the  fire  did  still  greater  damage, 
comparatively,  in  the  adjoining  village  of  Kehl  (Dorf  Kelil).  In 
the  former  place  the  church  was  turned  into  a  hospital.  Several 
shells  fell  close  to  the  Baden  temporary  hospital  constructed  in 
Dorf  Kehl. 

In  the  part  of  Kehl  near  the  Khine,  especially  in  the  neighbour- 
hood of  the  Fingach  brewery,  the  brewery  itself,  the  Palmen 
brewery,  and  several  houses  of  the  inhabitants  of  the  upper  classes, 
were  destroyed.  The  Manner-Hilfsverein  (?  Humane  Society)  of 
Kehl  worked  with  great  self-sacrifice  at  extinguishing  the  flames, 
and  those  of  the  inhabitants  who  could  sought  refuge  in  the  neigh- 
bouring villages. 

The  bombardment  of  Strasbm-g  from  the  left  bank  of  the  Ehine 
continued,  and  the  result  was  that  a  more  serious  fire  broke  out  in 
the  Weisse  Thurmgasse  (White  Tower  street).  The  desire,  on  this 
account,  of  the  inhabitants  for  a  surrender  was  brought  to  the 
notice  of  the  commandant,  but  without  effect.  As  it  had  become 
necessary  to  obtain  French  surgeons  for  the  French  wounded,  a 
flag  of  truce  with  a  trumpeter  was  sent  into  the  fortress ;  but  as 
they  were  both  fired  at,  and  the  latter  was  wounded,  the  design 
had  to  be  abandoned. 

A  company  of  the  2nd  Baden  grenadiers,  under  the  command 
of  Captain  Hilpert,  had  prepared  for  defence  the  outskirts  of  the 
village  of  Schiltigheim,  on  the  side  next  the  fortress. 

Towards  evening  the  French  made  a  sortie  with  two  companies 
against  the  outskirts  of  the  village,  but  were  repulsed.  The 
enemy  lost  three  men  killed  and  eight  wounded,  and  Euth's 
company  of  the  -ith  Baden  regiment,  posted  in  reserve  on  the 
Kirch-platz,  pursued  them  as  far  as  the  glacis.  The  bm-sting  of 
one  of  the  sluices  in  the  place  caused  temporary  damage  to  the 
inundation-works  of  the  fortress,  but  it  was  soon  repaired. 

August  20. — Tlie  investing  force  began  to  make  more 
extended  arrangements  for  defence  at   Schiltigheim,  as  being  a 

D  2 


■poiiit  d'appui  lying  close  to  the  fortress,  and  of  great  importance 
to  the  investment,  having  regard  to  the  later  ojaerations  of  the 
siege.  The  approaches  to  the  village  in  the  direction  of  the 
fortress  were  barricaded.  Shelter-trenches  and  covered  positions 
for  ontposts  were  laid  out.  On  the  side  of  the  enemy  the  works 
were  masked  by  the  plantations,  which  had  been  unaccountably 
left  standing,  in  consequence  of  the  hasty  manner  in  which  pre- 
parations for  the  siege  had  been  made.  Tlie  brewery  in  Schiltig- 
lieim  and  the  glue-manufactory  in  front  of  the  Spital  gate  had 
already  been  set  on  fire  from  the  fortress,  in  order  not  to  afford 
cover  to  the  besiegers. 

Fire  was  kept  up  against  the  fortress  from  both  banks  of  the 

August  21. — The  head  of  the  siege-train  reached  Veudenheim. 
The  train  consisted  of  200  guns  rifled  on  the  Prussian  system,  and 
100  smoothbore  mortars  ;  40  of  these  guns  were  at  once  brought 
into  action  against  the  fortress.  Lieutenant-Greneral  von  Werder 
asked  the  commandant,  in  vain,  to  remove  the  observatory  erected 
on  the  tower  of  the  cathedral,  in  order  that  it  might  be  possible  to 
save  this  magnificent  work  of  architecture  from  destruction.  With 
similar  results  he  endeavoured  to  have  the  military  hospital 
moved  out  of  the  line  of  fire. 

The  commandant  sent  out  of  the  fortress,  in  detachments  of 
ten  men  each,  100  Grermans,  who  belonged  to  the  foreign  legion. 
Upon  this,  great  dissatisfaction  against  the  Grermans  showed  itself 
among  the  population,  who  broke  out  into  many  acts  of  violence 
against  them. 

August  22. — The  commandant  asked  to  send  the  women 
and  children  out  of  the  besieged  place.  As  this  proposal  would 
have  led  to  a  great  demand  for  transj^ort  and  other  inconvenient 
results,  it  had  to  be  refused. 

August  23. — The  Kehl  batteries,  which  had  been  armed 
since  the  18th  August  with  garrison  guns  from  Rastatt,  kept  up 
an  effective  fire  day  and  night  against  the  citadel,  and  produced 
a  conflagration  there. 

On  the  left  bank  of  the  Rhine  the  town  and  fortress  of  Stras- 
bvu'g  was  fired  into  from  all  sides.  The  cannonade  became  heavier 
towards  evening.  The  infantry  kept  continually  drawing  nearer  to 
the  fortress.  The  pickets  and  outposts  were  obliged  to  entrench 
themselves  in  shelter-trenches  and  rifle-pits,  to  get  cover  from  the 
fire  of  the  enemy. 

August  24.— On  the  night  of  the  23rd-24th  August  the 
Baden  infantry  advanced  against  the  railway- station  on  the 
west  front,  and  thus  approached  within  1000  paces  of  the  fortress. 
The  station  was  taken  without  any  loss. 

In  the  evening  the  bombardment  of  the  west  front  with  siege 
artillery  was  begun.  For  this  purpose  the  Prussian  siege  artillery 
had  built  13  siege  batteries  (Nosi  1-13)  duringthe  preceding  night, 
and  had  armed  them  partly  with  rifled  24-pounders,  and  partly  with 
heavy  mortars.  The  result  was  that  two  large  fires  broke  out  in 
the  town,  and  a  third  in  the  citadel ;    and  the  arsenal,  containing 


the  workshops  for  the  manufacture  of  artillery  stores,  carriages.  &c. 
was  destroyed.  The  explosion  of  a  small  powder-magazine  was 
also  observed.  One  of  the  two  mortar-batteries  erected  by  the 
French  on  the  island  of  Sporen  was  silenced  by  the  Baden 

The  same  day  there  were  twenty  houses  burnt  in  Kehl,  and 
others  were  very  much  damaged. 

August  25. — On  the  night  of  the  24th — 25th  an  exceedingly 
heavy  fire  was  directed  on  the  town  and  fortress  from  the  whole 
of  the  batteries  ;  ten  rounds  were  fired  per  minute. 

It  was  determined  to  destroy  a  mortar-battery  which  was- 
placed  above  the  Rhine  baths  on  the  other  side  of  the  railway 
embankment,  and  had  seriously  injured  the  Kehl  batteries.  For 
this  purpose,  on  the  night  above  mentioned,  one  officer  and  forty- 
five  men  of  the  6th  Baden  regiment  and  three  gunners  crossed 
the  Ehine  in  perfect  silence,  but  were  unable  to  effect  their  object, 
because  the  French  had  already  withdrawn  the  pieces  of  ordnance 
to  the  fortress.  The  detachment  accordingly  set  the  bath-house- 
in  flames,  and  they  were,  in  retreating,  exposed  to  a  hea^^  fire. 

The  greater  part  of  the  inhabitants  fled  from  Kehl.  In  order 
to  diminish  the  danger  from  the  falling  shells  the  streets  of  the 
town  were  strewn  with  litter.  Workmen  were  brought  in  from 
the  neighbourhood,  for  three  or  four  leagues  round,  to  work  at  the 

The  bishop  of  Strasburg  appeared  at  the  headquarters  of  the 
besiegers  to  beg  for  a  cessation  of  the  fire.  There  was  the  less 
chance  of  his  wish  being  granted,  since  it  appeared  to  be  uttered 
more  as  a  matter  of  form  than  as  a  serious  request. 

About  1 1  A.M.  the  garrison  made  a  sortie  from  the  White 
Tower  gate,  with  a  small  detachment  and  two  guns,  against  the  7th 
and  8th  companies  of  the  3rd  Baden  regiment. 

August  26.— Eight  additional  24:-pounder  garrison  guns 
arrived  at  Kehl  from  Rastatt,  and  were  immediately  placed  in 
battery,  and  fired  during  the  day  and  the  night  until  4  o'clock 
in  the  morning. 

The  bombardment  against  Strasburg  was  continued,  chiefly 
from  the  battery  of  the  Robertsaue,  after  a  pause  from  4  a.m. 
till  12  noon,  for  the  purpose  of  awaiting  the  result  of  the 
efforts  of  the  bishop  to  influence  the  inhabitants.  Four  several 
great  conflagrations  were  observed,  including  the  magazines  and 
other  buildings  in  the  citadel,  which  were  in  flames.  The  fire 
from  the  fortress  became  comparatively  weak.  It  had,  however, 
destroyed  utterly  the  greater  part  of  the  town  of  Kehl  between 
the  railway-station  and  the  Rathhaus  (town-hall),  while  the  village 
of  Kehl,  south  of  the  town  of  that  name,  had  suffered  but  little. 

August  27.— On  the  night  of  the  26th-27th  the  number 
of  batteries  on  the  Kehl  side  was  increased  by  a  mortar-battery,, 
which  was  armed  with  eight  50-pounder  mortars. 

During  the  past  night  five  Baden  pioneers  succeeded  in  destroy- 
ing some  dams  which  were  intended  to  raise  the  level  of  the  water 
in  the  ditches  of  the  fortress.     On  account  of  the  importance  of 


the  object  and  the  danger  of  the  operation  the}'^  were  awarded  a 
gratuity  of  1000  thalers  (about  £150). 

To-day,  again,  the  fire  was  but  slack  from  the  fortress,  while 
that  of  the  besiegers  was  maintained  with  unabated  vigour.  A 
flag  of  truce  was  sent  to  the  besiegers  to  ask  for  some  surgical 
appliances  for  the  citizens.  This  showed  the  great  effect  of  the 
batteries  of  the  attack,  but  also  the  little  foresight  that  had  been 
displayed  in  the  town  in  preparing  for  the  event  of  a  siege.  The 
surgical  appliances  were  given  most  willingly,  and  in  return  some 
ice  was  obtained,  which  was  required  in  the  hospitals.  The  mayor 
of  Strasburg  in  vain  represented  to  the  governor  the  desirability 
of  surrendering  the  fortress.  In  consequence  many  persons  began 
to  abandon  the  city  ;  the  greater  part  betaking  themselves  to 

On  the  previous  night  the  advanced  posts  had  been  pushed 
forward  to  within  400  paces  of  the  fortress,  and  had  there  en- 
trenched themselves.  The  object  of  this  was  to  cover  and  conceal 
the  construction  of  the  first  parallel.  The  artillery  at  the  same 
time  built  ten  batteries,  which  were  numbered  14,  15,  16,  17, 
19,  20,  21,  22,  23,  25. 

August  28. — The  bishop  of  Strasburg  made  proposals  for 
mediation.  He  came  out  to  Schiltigheim,  where  Lieutenant-Colonel 
von  Lescinsky  the  chief  of  the  staff  of  the  Baden  army,  conferred 
with  him  on  behalf  of  Lieutenant-General  von  Werder.  The 
bishop  considered  the  bombardment  was  contrary  to  interna- 
tional law.  His  views  were  refuted.  He  begged  then  per- 
mission for  the  inhabitants  to  depart,  and  this  request  was 
refused.  The  request  of  the  bishop  for  an  armistice  of  twenty- 
four  hours  was  granted,  on  condition  that  an  assurance  should  be 
received  within  an  hour  that  the  governor  would  commence  nego- 
tiations. He  was  also  invited  to  come  out  and  make  himself 
acquainted  with  the  preparations  for  the  attack,  or  to  do  this  by 
deputy.  On  his  return  a  regular  platoon-fire  was  commenced 
upon  Lieutenant-Colonel  von  Lescinsky,  although  he  bore  the  flag 
of  truce  in  his  own  hand.  The  flag  was  riddled  with  bullets.  The 
attempt  at  mediation  was  thus  quite  useless. 

-Meanwhile  the  bombardment  on  both  sides  was  continued. 
Captain  von  Faber,  of  the  Baden  garrison  artillery,  sank  under  his 
severe  wounds  at  Korck. 

Both  towards  evening  and  during  the  night  a  brisk  fire  was 
kejjt  up  between  the  outposts  on  our  side  and  the  riflemen  of  the 
garrison,  who  were  posted  in  the  covered  way. 

August  29. — In  the  night  of  the  28th-29th,  the  shelter- 
trenches  of  the  advanced  posts  of  the  besiegers  between  Konigs- 
hofen  and  the  fortress  were  pushed  on  to  within  500  or  600  paces 
of  the  town ;  a  small  sortie  in  that  quarter  was  repulsed,  and  the 
fire  of  the  gims  continued  as  before.  At  noon  a  sortie  took  place, 
which  was  repulsed  by  detachments  of  the  34th  Prussian  regiment. 

It  may  be  well  to  mention  here  that  the  bombardment  proper 
began  on  the  24th  August,  and  lasted,  with  some  intervals,  three 
days.      On  the  Strasburg   side   the  bombarding   batteries,  thir- 


teen  iu  niimher,  were  all  situated  on  the  front  that  was  sub- 
sequently attacked,  and  fire  was  opened  from  26  rifled  24-pounders 
and  28  heavy  mortars.  On  the  side  of  Kehl  there  were  six  batteries 
in  action,  armed  with  32  heavy  rifled  guns  and  12  heavy  mor- 
tars. The  other  side  of  the  town  and  fortress  was  cannonaded 
with  field-guns. 

The  effect  of  the  artillery  of  the  defence  was  not  inconsiderable  : 
the  villages  of  Konigshofen  and  Schiltigheim,  which  were  within 
the  range  of  the  guns,  were  completely  destroyed ;  the  Galgens- 
chanzl  had  suffered  severely,  and  the  railway-station  at  Kehl  was 
set  on  fire  by  shells  and  completely  burnt  down,  after  the  inhabi- 
tants of  that  part  had  succeeded  with  difficulty  in  saving  it  from 
a  fire  that  broke  out  only  a  few  days  before.  Of  the  destruction 
caused  in  Strasburg  by  the  bombardment  only  the  most  important 
instances  will  be  noticed  here.  The  Ki'othenaue,  the  street  leading 
to  the  gate  of  Austerlitz,  the  quarters  De  Pierre  and  of  the  national 
gate,  the  railway-station,  the  corn-exchange,  the  artillery  school, 
the  cannon- foundry,  the  large  building  of  the  garrison  staff  on 
the  Kleberplatz,  the  neighbourhood  of  the  cathedral,  all  suffered 
severely,  and  many  treasures  of  art  and  science  were  destroyed  :  for 
example,  the  ancient  and  famous  library,  with  its  400,000  volumes, 
and  valuable  documents  and  manuscripts,  the  museum  of  art,  the 
collection  of  pictm'es,  and  the  Neukirche,  with  its  famous  fresco 
paintings.  The  damage  done  to  the  cathedral,  that  memorial 
of  early  Grerman  architecture,  was  happily  not  very  great. 
Although  the  upper  part  of  the  roof  above  the  arch  was  burnt, 
the  interior  was  uninjured,  with  the  excej)tion  of  one  glass 
window.     The  celebrated  astronomical  clock  remained  unharmed. 

The  siege  artillery  were  directed  to  spare  the  cathedi-al,  and 
previous  notice  was  given  of  the  few  shots  that  were  fired,  chiefly 
against  the  tower,  in  consequence  of  the  enemy  having  erected 
an  observatory  there,  with  telegraphic  communication,  whence  the 
besiegers'  works  were  completely  seen  into. 

Serious  injury  had  been  done  to  the  private  property  of  the 
citizens  by  the  inundation  around  the  fortress,  which  was,  however, 
a  most  efficient  measure  of  defence.  The  inundation  placed  the 
smTounding  low  ground  and  many  of  the  cellars  in  the  town 
under  water.  In  the  greater  number  of  the  latter  no  provision 
liad  been  made  for  such  an  event,  and  the  entry  of  the  water,  there-. 
fore,  caused  great  inconvenience,  and  prevented  the  buildings  from 
being  used,  either  as  shelter  for  the  peo]3le,  or  as  stores  for  pro- 
visions. An  attempt  had,  indeed,  been  made  at  Erstein,  about 
2^  miles  (llf  English  miles)  south  of  Strasburg,  between  the 
road  leading  to  Schlettstadt  and  the  Khine  canal,  to  divert  the 
waters  of  the  111,  which  there  flows  through  low  ground  intersected 
by  many  watercourses,  and  is  connected  by  channels  with  the  Ehine. 
An  attempt  had  been  also  made  to  lead  off  the  water  at  the  dis- 
charging sluices  o/  the  inundation  close  to  the  fortress  on  the  south 
front,  at  the  point  where  the  Aar,  a  branch  of  the  111,  the  111  itself, 
and  the  Ehine-Marne  canal,  are  united ;  and  the  destruction  of 
the  sluices  Nos.  87  and  88  in  the  Ehine-Ill  canal  had  been  under- 


taken,  and  bad  resulted  in  a  perceptible  reduction  of  tbe  level  of 
tbe  water  in  tbe  inundation  and  in  tbe  ditcbes. 

Tbe  opinion  of  tbe  inbabitants,  beaded  by  tbe  clergy,  was 
decidedly  against  a  vigorous  defence  of  tbe  fortress ;  several 
unavailing  memorials  were  sent  by  tbem  to  the  commandant,  to 
induce  bim  to  surrender  tbe  place.  Tbe  prices  of  most  kinds  of  pro- 
visions for  tbe  inbabitants  were  raised  to  exorbitant  amounts,  and 
as  tbe  supply  of  beef  was  long  since  exhausted,  people  ate  borse- 
flesb.  A  bundredweigbt  of  potatoes  cost  12  francs;  and  in  tbis 
populous  town  tbere  was  neither  butter  nor  fresh  vegetables. 

Tbe  strength  and  composition  of  the  garrison  were  ascertained. 
It  consisted  chiefly  of  fugitives  from  tbe  battle  of  Worth  of  tbe 
21st,  23rd,  28th,  33rd,  and  74tli  regiments,  besides  turcos, 
zouaves,  spahis,  and  cavalry  of  every  description,  and  this  pecu- 
liarity of  composition  rendered  the  maintenance  of  discipline 
difficult.  Tbere  was  among  tbem  none  of  that  steadiness  which 
belongs  to  well-disciplined  troops,  as  might  be  seen  from  tbe  way 
in  which  attacks  were  executed.  By  the  burning  of  the  military 
establishments  great  quantities  of  warlike  stores  bad  been  destroyed^ 
and  by  the  vigorous  bombardment  tbe  defensibility  of  tbe  place 
had  been  very  materially  reduced. 

Although  it  was  well  known  that  General  Barral,  of  the 
artillery,  who  succeeded  in  entering  the  fortress  in  disguise 
during  the  investment,  must  have,  in  fact,  bad  the  actual  direc- 
tion of  the  defence,  still  tbe  Governor  (General  of  Division 
Uhrich)  was  acknowledged  to  be  a  man  of  honour ;  and  it  was  not 
probable  that  this  meritorious  officer  would  be  brought  to  capi- 
tulate easily,  after  having  repeatedly  refused  tbe  summons  to 

In  tbis  state  of  affairs  it  became  certain,  by  the  26tb  of  August, 
that  the  object  in  view  was  only  to  be  attained  by  a  regular  siege, 
and  that  thus  also  the  sufferings  of  the  unhappy  city  would  be 
abbreviated  as  much  as  possible.  The  preparatory  measures,  to 
which  attention  bad  prudently  been  paid  at  tbe  very  commence- 
mient  of  the  campaign,  were  now  rapidly  carried  into  effect. 

Accordingly,  in  order  to  be  prepared  for  all  events,  tbe  siege- 
train  was  despatched  from  Magdeburg,  Coblentz,  and  Wesel.  Its 
composition  and  the  numbers  of  guns  of  eacli  description  were  in 
every  respect  carefully  considered.  Experiments  bad  been  made 
by  the  Prussian  Artillery  Experimental  Committee  with  rifled  siege 
artillery,  especially  with  15-centimetre  (6-inch)  guns,  and  21- 
centimetre  (8*27-inch)  mortars,  both  of  which  fire  an  elongated 
shell.  The  results  of  these  trials,  and  the  use  of  demolition 
batteries  {Demolitions  batterien\  by  which,  with  suitable  guns 
fired  at  appropriate  elevations,  bidden  escarps  can  be  breached  at 
great  distances,  were  to  be  tested  in  actual  warfare  for  the  first 
time  at  Strasburg. 

In  deciding  ujaon  the  place  for  the  artillery  attack,  it  was  con- 
templated that  the  batteries  already  existing  on  tbe  front  attacked 
would  be  maintained  for  the  purposes  of  the  bombardment,  and 
especially  that,  from  the  Kehl  batteries,  which  came  into  play 


about  this  time,  fire  would  be  kept  up,  because  tbey  were  best 
adapted  for  operating  against  the  citadel,  and  for  rendering  it 
impossible  to  defend  the  fortress  in  that  quarter. 

For  the  engineer  attack  an  engineer  siege-park,  wliich  had 
recently  been  formed  for  the  first  time,  was  brought  up  before  the 

Lieutenant-Greneral  von  Werder,  of  the  Prussian  Army,  was 
appointed  to  the  command  of  the  siege  corps,  with  Lieutenant- 
Colonel  von  Lescinsky,  of  the  general  staff  of  the  Grand  Duchy 
of  Baden,  as  chief  of  the  staff,  Lieutenant-General  von  Decker 
was  appointed  to  command  the  siege  artillery,  and  Major-General 
von  Mertens  was  appointed  Engineer-in-Chief. 

The  siege  corps  was  composed  as  follows : — 

1.  Infantry.- — 

(a)  The  landwehr  division  of  the  guard. 

(b)  P^irst  reserve  division,  to  which  were  attached  the 
30th  regiment  from  Mainz,  and  the  34th  (Pomeranian) 
fusiliers,  which  latter  regiment,  immediately  after  the 
declaration  of  war,  had  been  brought  up  from  Frank- 
fort to  Rastatt,  and  had  already  been  employed  during 
the  investment  before  Strasburg. 

(c)  The  Baden  division. 

2.  Cavalnj. — The  2nd  reserve  reginient  of  Prussian  dragoons; 
the  2nd  reserve  regiment  of  Prussian  ulans  ;  and  the  Baden 
cavalry,  consisting  of  three  regiments  of  dragoons. 

3.  Tlce  Siege  Artillery,  altogether  6.000  or  7,000  strong,  was 
composed  of  29  companies  of  garrison  artillery  belonging  to  the 
guard,  and  to  the  4th,  5th,  6th,  Ttli,  and  10th  regiments,  4 
Bavarian  garrison  batteries,  4  Wurtemberg  garrison  batteries,  and 
2  Baden  garrison  com^Danies. 

4.  Pioneers,  (Engineers),  altogether  2,200  strong,  two  '  com- 
bined '  battalions  of  garrison  jDioneers,  which  were  composed  of 
12  companies  of  garrison  pioneers  from  the  districts  of  the  1st, 
2nd,  5th,  6th,  7th,  8th,  10th,  and  11th  army  corps,  in  addition  to 
two  comjDanies  of  Baden  field  pioneers,  and  a  company  of  Bavarian 
garrison  pioneers,  which,  however,  only  arrived  towards  the  end  of 
the  siege.  Colonel  Klotz,  of  the  royal  Prussian  engineers,  was  in 
command  of  the  whole  of  the  pioneers. 

When  the  formation  of  the  corps  was  completed,  the  staffs  for 
the  siege  artillery  and  engineers  were  appointed.  Lieutenant- 
Colonel  von  Scheliha,  of  the  general  staff,  formerly  of  the  artiller^^, 
acted  as  chief  of  the  staff  for  the  former;  and  Lieutenant-Colonel 
von  Waugenheim,  from  the  War  Office,  for  the  latter.  Six  field 
officers  of  the  artillery  were  appointed  commanders  of  sections, 
and  20  engineer  officers  were  told  off  for  duty  in  their  own  depart- 
ment before  Strasburg. 

The  siege  army  was,  altogether,  nearly  60,000  strong.  The 
headquarters  (Lieutenant-General  von  Werder)  were  fixed  in 
Mundolsheim  for  the  siege  artillery,  and  for  the  business  of  the 
engineers.  The  division  of  the  Grand  Duchy  of  Baden  had  its 
headquarters  in  Oberschaffelsheim  and  in  Lampertsheim,  where 


was   the  residence   of  H.K.H.  the    Grand  Duke  of  Baden,  who 
followed  the  progress  of  the  siege  with  great  interest. 

From  the  accurate  knowledge  the  besiegers  possessed  of  the 
whole  of  the  fortress,  the  selection  of  the  front  of  attack  was  not 
difficult.  The  north-west  angle  of  the  enceinte  was  decided  upon 
for  the  puriDOse.  Its  position  was  so  salient  that  a  comparatively- 
narrow  front  of  attack  was  admissible,  and  this  front  could  be  de- 
veloped on  ground  almost  entirely  clear  of  inundations.  The  parks 
were  placed  near  excellent  roads  and  other  means  of  communica- 
tion with  the  depots  in  rear.  Thus  all  movements  of  the  siege 
stores  to  a  flank,  which  would  have  caused  waste  of  time,  were 
avoided.  The  citadel  had  already  been  terribly  injured,  during, 
the  investment  and  bombardment,  by  the  batteries  at  Kehl,  and, 
moreover,  was  of  little  use  on  the  front  selected  for  attack,  so 
that  enfilade-fire  on  the  attack  from  thence,  or  from  the  adjoining- 
works,  was  little  to  be  dreaded.  The  difficulties  to  be  met  with  in 
gaining  possession  of  the  ramparts,  or  in  entering  tlie  fortress, 
on  the  front  in  question,  would  also  have  been  experienced  in  a 
greater  or  less  degree  on  all  the  other  fronts. 

The  siege  park  was  situated  on  the  right,  the  powder  magazine 
on  the  left,  of  the  highroad,  north  of  Mundolsheim  ;  the  engineer 
park  was  in  Suffelsweierheim. 

On  the  night  of  the  29th-30th  August,  the  first  parallel  was 
opened,  and  at  the  same  time  the  approaches  to  it  from  the  rear 
were  made. 

The  working  party  was  furnished  by  the  1st  and  2nd  landwehr 
regiments  of  the  guard  and  the  pioneer  battalions,  so  far  as  the 
latter  were  not  required  for  supervision  and  other  technical  duties. 

The  parallel  rested  with  its  left  flank  on  the  111,  crossed  the 
road  leading  from  Strasburg  to  Schiltigheim  and  Weissenburg, . 
and  the  railways  to  Paris  and  Basle — the  latter  line,  as  it 
happened,  by  the  over-bridge  to  Wasselonne — and  was  thence 
continued  to  the  south-western  outlet  of  Konigshofen.  It  ex- 
tended, therefore,  beyond  the  groimd  covered  by  the  attack,  by 
almost  half  its  total  length,  which  amounted  to  5,700  paces.* 

The  distance  of  the  parallel  from  the  fortress  was,  on  the  average, 
800  paces  ;  and  this  was  a  very  favourable  circumstance,  in  com- 
parison with  the  siege  of  Sebastopol,  where  the  besiegers  were 
obliged  to  execute  the  same  work  at  a  distance  of  over  1,600 
paces  from  the  works. 

The  communications  in  rear,  from  the  principal  depot,  were 
constructed  in  a  zigzag  form,  with  five  returns,  and  occupied  the 
ground  between  the  highroad  to  Weissenburg  and  the  railway  to 
Paris.     They  were  nearly  in  the  centre  of  the  attack. 

Some  short  trenches  of  communication  were  also  made  on  the 
left  flank,  to  connect  with  the  village  of  Schiltigheim,  which  was 
very  conveniently  situated  for  the  approach  on  this  side. 

The  covering  troops  were  posted,  and  the  working  parties 
marched  to  and  fro,  in  accordance  with  instructions  given  for  these 

*  About  4,700  yards. 


purposes,  so  far  as  local  circumstances  did  not  require  a  departure 
from  the  instructions. 

During-  the  first  night  the  parallel  and  the  communications 
from  the  rear  were  excavated  to  a  depth  of  4  feet  and  a  breadth 
of  3  feet  at  the  bottom,  and  this  section  was  widened,  in  the  course 
of  the  30th  August,  to  8  or  9  feet  at  the  bottom.  Thus  the  breadth 
required  for  the  trenches,  as  communications,  was  obtained,  and 
sufficient  thickness  was  also  given  to  the  parapet.  The  parallel 
was  in  many  places  cut  into  steps  for  offensive  movements. 

Three  engineer  depots  were  also  formed,  one  for  the  centre 
and  one  for  each  flank,  as  shown  in  the  plan. 

The  enemy  permitted  all  the  works  to  be  executed  without 
interruption.  It  was  not  till  6  a.m.  on  the  morning  of  the  30th 
August,  that  some  unusual  movements  were  observed  on  the 
ramparts,  but  at  this  time  there  were  already  ten  new  batteries, 
with  46  additional  siege-guns  in  action.  These  were  batteries 
Nos.  14  to  17,  Nos.  19,  20,  21,  22,  23,  and  25.  The  bombarding 
batteries  Nos.  1  to  13  also  continued  in  action,  so  that  there  were 
firing  at  this  time 

30  long  rifled  24-pounders, 
42  rifled  12-pounders, 
28  heavy  mortars. 

altogether  100  pieces  of  siege  ordnance. 

The  enemy  was  evidently  taken  by  surprise  at  the  execution  of 
the  siege-works  mentioned,  and  was  unprepared  for  them.  This 
was  apparent  from  the  batteries  of  the  attack  being  slackly 
answered.  These  were,  however,  in  a  position  to  enfilade  and 
counter-batter  the  principal  lines  of  the  front  attacked  and  of  the 
adjoining  fronts,  and  to  do  serious  damage  to  the  enemy  in  the 
temporary  works  thrown  up  before  the  siege. 

By  their  united  efforts  the  batteries  of  the  besiegers  succeeded 
in  silencing  the  artillery  of  the  garrison  in  a  very  short  time.  On 
account  of  their  great  distance  from  the  works,  however,  some  of 
the  bombarding  batteries  constructed  early  in  the  siege  (Nos.  1,  2, 
3,  6,  9,  10,  11,  12)  ceased  fire  in  the  course  of  the  day. 

During  the  fore  and  afternoon  of  the  30th  August,  the  artillery 
of  the  garrison,  after  completing  the  armament  of  the  front  of 
attack,  were  able  to  renew  the  fight  for  a  couple  of  hours.  Both 
times,  however,  they  were  quickly  silenced. 

On  this  day  and  on  the  31st  August,  the  parallels  and  approaches 
were  first  brought  to  the  section  necessary  for  efficiency,  and  were 
completed.  It  became  necessary,  on  this  and  on  the  following  days, 
to  drive  out  the  French  posted  in  some  rifle-pits  on  Wacken,  an 
island  covered  with  bushes  formed  by  the  Aar,  a  branch  of  the  111, 
and  by  the  111. 

September  1. — During  the  night  between  the  31st  August 
and  the  1st  September  the  approaches  to  the  second  parallel  were 
commenced.  They  consisted  of  only  a  simple  trench  on  the  left 
wing,  and  three  zigzags  directed  on  the  capitals  of  the  bastions 
attacked.    In  consequence  of  this  the  outposts  were  proportionately 


advanced.  At  the  same  time  batteries  Nos.  27  and  28  were  built 
and  armed.  The  enemy  displayed  great  activity  during  the  night, 
and  towards  morning  commenced  a  vigorous  fire  of  artillery.  The 
fire  was  particularly  heavy  on  the  north  front. 

The  engineer  lieadquarters  were  transferred  from  Mundolsheim 
to  Schiltigheim.  The  batteries  of  attack,  we  may  liere  mention, 
were  placed  partly  inside  and  partly  outside  the  parallels  and  com- 
munications. In  both  cases,  however,  they  were  so  covered  that 
they  were  either  not  at  all,  or  only  slightly,  visible  from  the  fortress 
itself.  Those  for  guns  were  provided  for  the  most  part  with  flat 
or  trough-shaped  embrasures. 

September  2. — During  the  night  of  September  lst-2nd,  the 
zigzag  approaches  to  tlie  second  parallel  were  executed,  and  were 
made  in  two  separate  parts,  because  it  was  desired  to  spare  the 
churchyard  of  St.  Helene,  with  its  monuments.  Lieutenant- 
Colonel  von  Gayl  and  Captain  Hertzberg,  both  of  the  engineers, 
were  killed  as  they  were  in  the  act  of  endeavouring  to  improve 
the  defective  position  of  a  part  of  the  second  parallel,  which  was 
too  close  to  the  enemy's  works.  The  former  was  on  duty  as  major 
of  the  trenches.  The  work  was  not  quite  completed  when,  on 
the  night  of  September  2nd-3rd,  about  12  o'olock,  a  brisk  fire  of 
artillery  and  infantry  commenced  from  the  fortress,  and  was  fol- 
lowed immediately  by  two  sorties  against  both  flanks  of  the  parallel. 
The  French  advanced  with  three  columns  against  the  right  wing 
in  the  direction  of  Vendenheim,  and  attacked  the  company  of  the 
2nd  Baden  grenadiers  (King  of  Prussia's),  who  were  holding  the 
outer  buildings  of  the  railway-station.  A  severe  engagement  en- 
sued, so  that  the  commandant  of  the  trenches,  Colonel  von  Renz, 
had  to  bring  up  the  1st  battalion  of  the  regiment  above  named,  who 
were  on  trench-duty,  and  drive  back  the  enemy,  who  was  superior  in 
numbers,  into  the  fortress,  Captain  Grraeff  was  killed,  and  the  troops 
lost  50  killed  and  wounded,  chiefly  in  retreating  into  the  trenches. 
The  2nd  company  distinguished  itself  very  much  in  this  engage- 

In  the  sortie  delivered  against  the  left  flank  of  the  parallel  at 
half-past  3  in  the  morning,  the  French  sent  three  columns  over 
the  islands  of  Jars  and  Wacken,  where  outhouses  and  plantations 
afforded  much  cover,  and  then  fell  upon  the  2nd  battalion  of  the 
30th  Prussian  regiment,  by  whom  they  were  repulsed.  The  loss 
of  the  Prussians  amounted  to  one  officer  (Lieutenant  von  Versen) 
wounded  and  taken  prisoner,  and  thirty  men.  A  French  officer 
and  four  chassem-s  were  taken  prisoners.  In  these  sorties  the  want 
of  a  greater  number  of  steps  over  the  parapet  for  counter-attacks 
was  experienced.  Eain  coming  on  made  the  work  in  the  trenches 
exceedingly  heavy.  The  besiegers  had  now  got  so  near  the  fortress 
that  wall-pieces  could  be  used  with  advantage,  for  which  purpose 
wall-piece  detachments  were  formed  of  both  Prussian  and  Baden 
troops,  and  were  employed  to  keep  up  a  fire  on  the  enemy's 
gunners.  The  French  fired  for  a  similar  purpose  with  wall-pieces, 
chassepots,  and  minie-rifles. 

September  3. — Extension  of  parallels,  and  construction  and 


completion  of  batteries  16a,  17a,  19a,  21a,  29,  and  30.  In  the 
early  morning  there  was  a  slight  engagement  at  the  outposts,  in 
which  the  besiegers  lost  eight  wounded.  In  the  forenoon  there 
was  a  cessation  of  hostilities  for  an  hour,  for  burying  the  dead 
in  the  fortress. 

At  Schiltigheim  the  castle-like  monastery  was  converted  into 
a  hospital.  Two  new  kinds  of  siege  ordnance  arrived  at  the  park — 
namely,  twelve  short-rifled  24-pounders,  and  two  rifled  2o-pounder 
mortars.  They  threw  projectiles  of  enormous  jDower  with  great 

September  4. — The  engineer  headquarters  were  transferred 
back  again  to  Mundolsheim  for  official  reasons.  Intelligence 
arrived  of  the  capitulation  of  Sedan,  which  was  communicated  to 
the  governor  of  the  fortress,  in  order  to  make  him  aware  of  the 
military  and  political  condition  of  France  resulting  from  that 
event.  A  thanksgiving  service  was  held  by  the  siege  corps,  and 
three  saluting  rounds  per  gun  were  fired  by  the  artillery,  in  honour 
of  the  occasion. 

September  5. — The  siege  continued  its  course  without  any 
events  worthy  of  remark.  During  the  previous  night,  as  well  as 
in  the  course  of  the  day,  the  enemy  attacked  with  small  detach- 
ments, to  interrupt  the  progress  of  battery  No.  33,  the  mortar 
batteries  31  and  32,  and  the  other  trench  works. 

September  6. — At  Schiltigheim  a  line  of  telegraph,  serving 
apparently  for  commimication  with  Metz,  was  discovered  and 
destroyed.  Subsequently,  however,  it  was  believed  that  it  had  served 
for  private  and  local  uses.  The  batteries  of  the  attack  kept  up  a 
very  heavy  fire,  and  the  fine  '  Finkmatt '  barracks,  behind  the 
bastion  of  the  same  name,  where  Napoleon  III.  had  made  an 
attempt  at  insurrection  in  1839,  were  set  on  fire  by  shells.  In 
Bischheim,  also,  a  conflagration  was  caused  by  the  fire  of  the 
artillery  of  the  garrison.  The  Kehl  batteries  kept  up  a  heavy  fire 
on  the  citadel  and  destroyed  the  city  gate  there,  and  by  this  means 
the  communication  with  the  town  and  w^itli  its  defences  was 
rendered  exceedingly  difficult. 

September  7. — In  the  morning  there  was  an  engagement  of 
the  patrols  on  the  Ehine,  in  which  a  detachment  of  the  3rd 
(Baden)  regiment  took  part.  Another  detachment  captured  at 
Machern,  one-and-a-half  leagues  above  Kehl,  two  vessels  comino- 
from  Neu-Breisach  with  stores  for  the  supply  of  the  artillery', 
including  30,000  fuzes.  The  boatmen  in  charge  of  the  vessels 
were  compelled  to  discharge  their  cargoes,  on  account  of  the  low 
level  of  the  water  in  the  Ehine,  and  had  set  to  work  to  do  this 
without  precaution. 

September  8. — During  the  past  night,  battery  No.  35  had  been 
armed  with  two  21-centimetre  (8'27-inch)  mortars,  which  was  a 
work  of  much  difficulty,  as  they  weighed  nearly  150  cwt. — namely, 
the  piece  itself  about  66  cwt.,  and  the  platform  about  84  cwt. 
These  experimental  mortars  throw  a  shell  weighing  160  pounds, 
shaped  like  a  sugarloaf,  and  20  inches  in  length,  with  a  15-pound 
bursting  charge,  which  forms  by  its  explosion  a  crater  6  feet  deep 


and  20  feet  across.  They  are,  therefore,  very  effective  against 
bombproof  casemates.  They  were  used  in  combination  with 
battery  No.  5  against  the  redoubt  in  kmette  No.  4-4,  which  work 
was  in  consequence  soon  abandoned  by  the  enemy.  At  the  same 
time  batteries  39  and  38,  and  two  emplacements  for  field-guns 
to  fire  over  the  ground  in  front,  were  built ;  and  a  battery  (No.  40), 
for  firing  at  high  angles  near  the  churchyard  of  St.  Helene,  was 
constructed,  and  armed  with  six  25-pounder  mortars. 

September  9. — The  birthday  of  H.R.H.  the  Grand  Duke  of 
Baden,  kept  in  time  of  peace  with  a  grand  reveille,  thanksgiving, 
and  tattoo,  was  celebrated  by  an  unusually  heavy  cannonade,  on 
the  part  of  the  besiegers,  from  both  sides  of  the  Ehine.  Besides 
the  32  rifled  guns  and  8  mortars  in  the  Kehl  batteries,  there 
were  in  the  principal  attack  98  rifled  guns  and  40  mortars  in 
action.  By  the  admirable  arrangement  of  the  artillery  attack,  for 
the  mutual  support  and  concentration  of  fire  from  the  various 
batteries,  that  of  the  enemy  was  almost  silenced.  It  slackened 
perceptibly,  and  on  the  fronts  and  lines  directly  attacked,  a  rapid 
mortar-fire  only  was  maintained. 

In  Paris  a  despatch  was  published,  ostensibly  from  the 
governor  of  the  fortress,  according  to  which  the  condition  of  the 
place  had  in  the  last  few  days  become  very  seriously  worse,  owing 
to  the  incessant  bombardment ;  it  has  not  transpired  how  the 
despatch  in  question  found  its  way  to  Paris  under  the  circum- 
stances then  existing. 

September  10.— During  the  night  of  the  9th-10th,  work 
was  begun  in  three  places  at  the  communications  to  the  third 
parallel,  and  a  sortie  of  the  French  from  the  porte  Nationale  was 
repulsed  by  the  2nd  (Baden)  regiment.  The  use  of  the  Stein 
Thor  (porte  de  la  Pierre),  which  lay  so  close  to  the  attack,  was 
rendered  altogether  unavailable  for  making  sorties,  because  it,  as 
well  as  the  bridges  at  that  place,  had  been  entirely  destroyed  by 
the  fire  of  the  artillery.  In  the  town  several,  large  conflagrations 
were  observed. 

September  11. — During  the  preceding  night  the  approaches 
to  the  third  parallel,  on  the  three  openings  that  had  been  made, 
were  pushed  forward  about  300  paces.  The  artillery  fire  on  both 
sides  was  heavy.  There  was  a  fire  at  the  artillery  school,  and  also 
in  Konigshofen.  Breaching  battery  No.  8  was  constructed  against 
lunette  No.  53,  and  was  armed  with  four  short  24-pounders. 

Septeinber  12. — During  the  previous  night  the  third  parallel 
was  added,  700  paces  in  length,  which  was  executed  by  means  of 
the  common  sap,*  without  using  gabions,  as  had  been  all  the 
earlier  works  of  this  description.  It  deserves  to  be  prominently 
noticed  that  the  establishment  of  the  third  parallel  and  the  com- 
munications between  the  second  and  third  parallels  by  the 
common  sap,  instead  of  the  full  sap  prescribed  for  their  execution 
in  the  regulations,  shortened  the  attack  by  many  days ;  and  this 

*  The  '  common  sap '  is  not  what  is  so  called  in  the  English  Service,  but 
the  mode  of  execution  adopted  by  us  for  the  first  parallel. 


arrangement,  previously  unrecorded  in  military  history,  was  due 
entirely  to  the  Engineer-in-Chief,  Greneral  von  Martens.  The 
garrison  attempted  a  sortie,  which  produced  no  effect,  and  was  of 
no  importance.  At  the  same  time  battery  8a  was  constructed,  and 
armed  with  four  oO-pounder  mortars,  against  bastion  No.  11,  on  the 
front  of  attack,  which  was  also  shelled  by  battery  35.  At  break 
of  day  the  fire  of  the  artillery  was  resumed,  and  kept  up  most 
vigorously.  The  position  of  the  third  parallel  was  such  that  it 
skirted  the  foot  of  the  glacis  of  lunette  53,  while  it  was  some 
60  paces  distant  from  the  foot  of  lunette  52.  A  kind  of  demi- 
parallel  was  required  to  connect  the  two  glacis,  at  their  feet,  for 
which  purpose  a  sap  had  to  be  driven  forward  from  the  third 
parallel  towards  lunette  52.  Further  approaches  could  no  longer 
be  made  by  zigzags.  The  double  sap  {Traversensappe)  was 
necessary  to  give  the  additional  cover  required  on  both  sides. 

Breaching  battery  No.  42  was  erected,  for  six  short  24- 
pounders,  against  the  right  face  of  bastion  No.  11. 

The  Swiss,  with  the  consent  of  the  governor  of  the  fortress, 
and  of  the  commander  of  the  siege  corps,  made  arrange- 
ments for  the  departm'e  of  distressed  families.  Nearly  800  per- 
sons left  the  fortress,  with  the  greatest  goodwill  on  the  part  of  the 

September  13. — During  the  previous  bright  moonlight  night, 
the  work  at  the  double  sap  was  continued  with  sap-rollers  {Erdioalze). 
The  fire  of  the  fortress  reached  as  far  as  Mittelhausbergen,  more 
than  a  league  (about  4,600  yards)  from  the  place,  and  set  that 
village  on  fire.  In  the  com'se  of  the  day  an  exchange  was  effected 
of  an  unwounded  French  officer,  who  was  a  prisoner,  for  a  wounded 
Prussian  officer,  who  was  also  a  prisoner — Lieutenant  von  Yersen, 
of  the  30th  regiment.  Detachments  of  Baden  infantry  occupied 
the  island  of  Sporen,  at  the  south-east  of  the  fortress  ;  they  made 
rifle-pits  there,  and  endeavoured  to  establish  communication  with 
the  Prussian  troops .  posted  at  their  right  on  the  Roberstaue,  for 
which  purpose  a  bridge  was  thrown  over  the  branch  of  the  Rliine. 

September  14. — On  the  night  of  September  13th-14th  the 
demi-parallel  was  completed,  and  was  broken  through  for  a  return 
to  the  front ;  this  could  only  be  made  by  a  double  sap,  executed 
by  means  of  sap-rollers.  At  the  same  time  batteries  41  and  43 
were  built,  and  manned  by  the  "SViirtemberg  artillery.  The 
former  was  armed  with  four  12-poLmders,  and  the  latter  with  eight 
24-pounders,  for  firing  against  the  adjoining  fronts.  Then  fol- 
lowed the  establishment  of  mortar-emplacements  Nos.  45  and  46, 
against  the  outworks  lying  near  them,  as  well  as  the  construction 
of 'dismounting  battery' No.  44.  An  indirect  breaching  battery. 
No.  42,  was  built  to  operate  against  the  right  face  of  bastion  11, 
and  armed  with  four  short  24-pounders.  A  detachment  of  Baden 
troops,  consisting  of  4  battalions,  8  squadrons,  and  3  batteries, 
under  the  command  of  Greneral  Keller,  was  sent  from  the  siege 
corps  to  Upper  Alsace.  It  marched  by  Colmar  to  Miihlhauseu, 
was  attacked  by  the  garrison  of  Neu-Breisach  and  some  gardes 
mobiles,  and,  in  compliance  with  orders,  effected  the  disarmament 
of  the  district,  in  which  signs  of  a  popular  rising  had  appeared. 


Septemhev  15. — During-  the  previous  night  the  glacis  was 
crowned  by  the  flying  sap  for  50  jDaces  along  each  face  of  lunette 
No.  53.  A  second  time  the  Frencli  made  an  attempt  to  occupy 
the  island  of  Sporen  in  force.  This  day  they  endeavoured  to  effect 
this  object  by  a  sortie  in  force,  apparently  with  1,600  men,  accom- 
panied by  artillery,  who,  after  a  combat  of  some  duration,  were 
driven  back. 

At  first  there  were  only  two  Baden  companies  opposed  to  the 
French,  but  these,  during  the  fight,  were  reinforced  by  Prussian 
detachments,  and  drove  back  the  enemy,  who  left  behind  them 
killed,  wounded,  and  prisoners. 

In  Strasburg  the  want  of  provisions,  especially  among  the 
poorer  classes  of  the  population,  began  to  be  felt  seriously,  and 
arrangements  were  made  for  sheltering  those  whose  houses  had 
been  burnt  in  sheds  built  for  horses.  At  the  pressing  instance  of 
the  clergy  of  both  persuasions  there  was  an  armistice  from  9  till 
12  in  the  forenoon,  to  allow  500  or  600  women  and  children  to 
depart  from  the  besieged  city. 

September  16. — On  the  night  of  the  15th-16th  the  crowning 
of  the  glacis,  by  flying  sap,  in  front  of  lunette  52,  was  begun. 
At  Appenweier,  a  railway-station,  2  miles  (9^  English  miles)  from 
Kehl,  preparations  were  made  for  the  repair  of  the  lattice-bridge 
over  the  Ehine,  which  had  been  destroyed,  restoring  it,  in  the 
first  instance,  for  one  line  only.  The  flying-bridge  at  Ichenheim, 
about  2^  leagues  above  Kehl,  was  also  kept  ready  to  be  brought 
down  to  that  place. 

September  \1 . — On  this  night  the  crownings  in  front  of  lunettes 
52  and  53  were  prepai-ed  for  action,  and  the  artillery  displayed,  on 
this  occasion,  extraordinary  activity.  Batteries  17a,  19a,  21a  were 
made  in  front  of  the  second  parallel,  and  Nos.  17b,  19b,  21b  were 
made  in  connection  with  them.  Batteries  Nos.  46,  47,  48,  5a 
(all  batteries  for  firing  at  high  angles)  were  built,  and  armed  with 
light  and  heavy  mortars.  Captain  Ledebur,  of  the  Engineers, 
with  two  resolute  pioneers  (sappers),  had  on  the  night  of 
the  8th-9th  September  reconnoitred  lunette  53.  Letting  them- 
selves down  by  ropes  into  the  ditch,  they  discovered  three  mining- 
galleries  of  the  enemy,  of  which  the  entrances  were  just  above  the 
surface  of  the  water  in  the  ditch.  One  principal  gallery  was 
found  on  the  centre  line  of  the  work,  and  one  gallery  on  each 
side  of  it.  All  three  were  connected  by  parallel  galleries,  and 
formed  in  the  customary  manner.  This  system  of  mines  being- 
discovered,  was  given  up  by  the  enemy.  Only  one  mine  had  been 
loaded,  and  that  was  now  unloaded.  The  gallery,  on  the  right  of 
the  capital,  was  converted  by  working  from  the  third  parallel 
into  an  underground  communication  with  the  ditch  of  the  work, 
and  by  the  14th  September  was  made  use  of  as  a  secure  place  of 
observation  for  watching  the  effect  of  the  indirect  breaching 
batteries  on  the  right  face.  Inforrnation  was  thus  obtained  that 
the  breach  was  quite  practicable  on  the  16th  September.  This 
was  not  the  only  application  of  indirect  fire  to  the  formation  of  a 
breach,  for  it  had,  as  we  have  seen,  been  attended  by  the  best  re- 


suits  from  battery  33,  against  the  redoubt  of  lunette  44,  and 
against  a  covered  dam  at  the  Fischerthor,  between  bastion  15  and 
ravelin  63. 

In  the  evening  detachments  of  the  3rd  and  6th  regiments  of 
Baden  infantry  repulsed  an  attack  attempted  by  the  French  on  the 
island  of  Sporen. 

September  18. — On  the  previous  night  the  fortress  was  bom- 
barded with  increased  vigour.  An  advance  was  made  into  the 
covered  way  of  lunette  52,  and  the  redoubt  in  the  place  (Varmes 
was  found  to  be  abandoned  by  the  enemy.  The  descent  into  the 
ditch  in  front  of  lunette  53  was  excavated  during  the  night,  and 
at  intervals  by  day,  and  the  timber-work  was  then  commenced. 
The  field  telegraph  was  brought  up  to  the  third  parallel,  and  the 
whole  of  the  siege-works  put  in  connection  with  it.  This  was  its 
first  application  in  siege  operations. 

Septeraber  19. — In  the  night  progress  was  made  with  the 
construction  of  the  descent  into  the  ditch  in  front  of  lunette  52. 

Lieutenant  Kirchgessner,  of  the  engineers  of  the  Grand  Duchy 
of  Baden,  was  killed.  The  theatre  in  Strasburg  became  a  prey 
to  the  flames.  The  bombardment  reached  all  parts  of  the  city, 
and  destroyed  a  timber-yard  in  the  citadel,  and  two  of  the  largest 
and  finest  houses  on  the  Steinstrasse,  by  fire.  Immediately  on 
completion  of  the  crownings  in  front  of  the  two  lunettes,  the 
artillery  went  on  with  the  construction  of  counter-batteries,  Nos. 
51,  53,  54,  and  armed  them  each  with  two  6-pounder  guns. 

September  20. — In  front  of  lunette  53  the  descent  of  the 
ditch  was  finished,  and  the  foot  of  the  counterscarp  was  blown  in 
by .  a  mine.  The  breach  thus  caused  was  widened  to  1 2  feet,  and 
made  practicable.  The  debris  of  the  wall,  however,  only  filled 
up  part  of  the  ditch,  and  about  3  rods  (36  feet)  of  its  breadth  re- 
mained to  be  filled  up  to  complete  the  passage  of  the  ditch.  This 
was  done  by  throwing  in  filled  sandbags  and  earth,  and  fascines 
and  gabions  loaded  with  stones.  Towards  5  p.m.  this  task  was 
completed,  and  a  passage  to  the  work  was  made  practicable,  about 
60  feet  long,  18  feet  wide,  and  4  feet  to  8  feet  deep  in  water. 
Accordingly,  the  guard  of  the  trenches  that  happened  to  be  at 
hand,  consisting  of  some  men  of  the  Cottbus  landwehr  battalion 
of  the  guard,  under  Lieutenant  von  Miiller,  of  the  fusiliers 
of  the  guard,  advanced,  ascended  the  breach  that  had  been 
made  in  the  18-foot  escarp,  and  effected  a  lodgment  on  it.  The 
work  was  abandoned  by  the  enemy,  but  the  interior  was  seen  from 
the  works  lying  beliiud  it.  Lieutenant  Frobenius,  of  the  engi- 
neers, reconnoitred  the  interior  of  the  lunette.  He  found  the  gorge 
open,  a  great  traverse,  with  two  vaulted  passages,  erected  on  the  centre 
line  or  capital  of  the  work,  and  some  guns.  The  abandoned  guns 
were  spiked  by  the  artillery;  and  the  jjioneers  (engineers)  having 
found  nowhere  any  mines  for  its  demolition,  the  interior  of  the 
lunette  was  occupied.  The  enemy  hereupon  opened  a  brisk  mus- 
ketry fire,  from  which  the  new  garrison  endeavoured  to  cover 
themselves  as  best  they  could.  At  night  the  3rd  company  of  the 
34th  fusiliers  formed  the  garrison.  A  pioneer  company,  under 
36996.  E 


the  command  of  Captain  Ledebur,  effectually  closed  in  the 
work  by  the  construction  of  covered  communications  to  the  lodg- 
ment in  the  gorge,  with  a  parapet  facing  the  enceinte.  Mortar- 
batteries  49  and  50,  against  the  adjoining  works,  as  well  as  gun- 
battery  55,  were  built.  In  the  captured  lunette.  No.  53,  a  7-poun- 
der  mortar-battery.  No.  56,  was  erected. 

September  21. — Greneral  Keller's  detachment,  that  had  been 
sent  to  Upper  Alsace,  rejoined  the  siege  corps  before  Strasburg. 
Night  and  day  work  was  carried  on  at  the  descent  of  the  ditch  in 
front  of  lunette  52,  from  the  entrance  down  to  the  bottom,  and 
many  reliefs  were  employed,  so  as  to  finish  the  work  as  quickly  as 
possible.  The  slopes  were  revetted  with  gabions,  and  iron  rails, 
properly  supported  at  the  ends,  were  used  in  its  construction.  The 
breach  through  the  earthen  counterscarp  to  the  wet  ditch  was 
filled  up  during  the  day  with  gabions,  sandbags,  &c.  At  8  o'clock 
in  the  evening  preparations  were  commenced  for  the  passage  of 
the  ditch.  This  was  to  be  effected  by  means  of  a  bridge  of  casks, 
120  feet  long,  constructed  under  the  charge  of  Captain  Andriae, 
of  the  engineers.  To  prevent  noise  the  bridge  was  covered  with 
straw,  and  its  construction  was  completed  about  half-past  10 
o'clock.  A  working  party  of  100  men,  under  the  command  of 
First-Lieutenant  von  Keiser  I.,  of  the  engineers,  followed  by  two 
companies  of  the  34th  fusiliers,  crossed  over,  and  found 
the  lunette  armed  with  some  guns,  but  unoccupied.  Fire  was 
opened  upon  them,  however,  from  the  line  of  works  in  rear,  namely, 
the  counterguard,  and  the  hornwork  47-49;  but,  though  they  suf- 
fered mncli  loss,  the  work  was  pushed  on  with  great  energy,  and 
the  contemplated  lodgment  in  the  works  was  effected.  Major 
von  Quitzow,  of  the  staff  of  the  engineers  (major  of  the  trenches 
on  duty),  was  killed.  Captain  Eoese,  of  the  engineers,  had  charge 
of  the  works  for  closing  the  lunette,  which  consisted  of  a  lodg- 
ment behind  the  palisades  at  the  gorge,  and  a  communication 
leading  into  it.  Inside  the  lunette  four  7-pounder  mortars  were 
subsequently  placed,  and  it  was  called  battery  57.  The  loss 
amounted  on  this  night  to  10  killed  and  38  wounded.  During 
the  day  the  bombardment  was  extended  to  all  parts  of  the  town. 
The  prefecture  was  bm-nt  down,  and  the  fire  in  the  Steinstrasse 
continued  its  ravages. 

September  22. — During  the  past  night  the  cannonade 
never  stopped,  and  the  bursting  of  shells  in  the  city  was  incessant, 
causing  much  loss  of  life,  and  making  everywhere  sad  havoc. 

Lunette  52  was  captured;  with  it  six  12-pounders,  with  their 
proportion  of  ammunition,  fell  into  the  hands  of  the  besiegers.  On 
the  crowning  a  6-pounder  was  placed  opposite  the  left  face  of  the 
work.  The  losses  of  the  last  few  days  had  made  it  necessary  to 
advance  the  field  hospitals  ( Verband  pUitze).  They  were  made 
bombproof  by  the  use  of  railway  metals,  and  for  some  of  them 
Abyssinian  wells  were  sunk. 

September  23. — During  the  past  night  the  besiegers,  making 
use  of  a  dam  that  happened  to  be  there,  debouched  from  the 
gorge   of  lunette   52,  by  means  of  the   double  sap,  towards  the 


siimmit  of  the  glacis  of  coimterguard  al.  At  this  point  Captain 
Ledebur,  of  the  Prussian  Engineers,  was  wounded  ;  he  died  of  this 
wound  some  weeks  later.  All  honour  and  respect  is  due  to  this 
officer  for  his  gallant  conduct.  He  it  was  who,  by  a  bold  advance, 
discovered  the  mines  in  front  of  lunette  53,  and  who  swam 
through  the  ditch  in  front  of  lunette  52  to  reconnoitre  the 
gorge  of  that  work. 

On  the  same  night  a  powder-magazine,  which  had  been 
struck  simultaneously  by  two  French  shells,  blew  up  in  battery 
No.  35.  In  another  battery  (No.  32,)  the  roof  of  the  magazine 
was  broken  through.  In  the  former  case  5  cwt.  of  powder  went  off, 
and  blew  to  pieces  the  gunner  who  was  employed  in  the  magazine. 
It  was  evident  from  this,  that  the  bridge  of  casks  leading  to 
lunette  52,  built  on  the  night  of  the  21st  and  22nd,  would  not 
last  long.  In  the  course  of  the  day  it  was  disabled  by  the  shells 
of  the  enemy.  It  was  accordingly  sunk  on  the  following  night 
to  the  bottom  of  the  ditch,  filled  up  with  fascines,  sandbags, 
and  gabions,  and  remained  thus  a  secure  means  of  crossing  the 
ditch.  As  it  was  exposed  to  an  uninterrupted  flanking  fire  from 
lunettes  54  and  55,  a  parapet  was  made  on  the  left  side,  of  gabions 
in  two  rows,  one  above  the  other,  filled  with  sandbags.  Breaching 
battery  No.  42  commenced  firing  against  the  right  face  of 
bastion  11. 

September  24.  -During  the  previous  night,  breaching  battery 
No.  5S^  for  four  short  24-pounders,  was  built  opposite  the  left 
face  of  bastion  12,  and  opened  fire  in  the  morning.  The  double 
sap,  which  had  been  commenced  inside  the  dam  leading  to 
lunette  52  from  the  rear,  was  pushed  forward  as  far  as  the  crest  of 
the  glacis  of  bastion  11,  where  it  terminated  in  a  traverse  that 
was  met  with,  and  which  was  prepared  for  defence  by  infantrv',  by 
cutting  a  banquette  in  it.  Destruction  by  fire  and  ruin  of  every 
description  continually  increased  in  the  city  ;  the  citizens  were 
wounded  and  killed,  by  shrapnel  and  shells,  in  the  streets,  in 
their  houses,  at  any  business  they  undertook.  One  of  the  21- 
centimetre  (8'27-inch)  shells  passed  through  three  storeys  into 
the  cellar  of  a  house,  destroying  everything  in  its  way. 

September  25. — In  lunette  53,  battery  No.  60  was  erected, 
for  three  rifled  6-pounders.  A  complete  breach  was  formed  in 
bastion  11. 

September  26. — A  complete  breach  was  formed  in  bastion 
No.  12.  Bastions  11  and  12  were  reduced  to  shapeless  ruins  by 
the  fire  directed  on  them,  and  at  the  salient  of  the  latter 
bastion  an  arched  gam-casemate  was  entirely  destroyed.  The  arch 
of  the  Steinthor  was  shot  to  pieces.  The  construction  of  the 
crowning  in  front  of  the  counterguard  of  bastion  1 1  was  continued 
by  the  engineers. 

So  remarkable  were  the  exertions  of  the  artillery,  that  it  is  only 
right  to  make  special  mention  of  the  energy  and  endurance  which 
these  troops  this  day  displayed  before  Strasburg,  and  to  which 
alone  it  is  due,  not  only  that  the  artillery  of  the  defenders  was  so 
held  in  check,  that  at  last  they  only  ventured  to  come  out  at  nighty 

E  2 


but  also  that  the  engineer  attack,  conducted  with  measures  as  well 
considered  as  they  were  excellent  and  vigorous,  attained  its  object 
in  so  short  a  time. 

The  various  descriptions  of  guns  which  the  artillery  had 
in  use  before  Strasburg  were  long  24-pounder,  short  24-pounder5 
12-pounder  and  6-pounder  guns ;  21 -centimetre,  50-pounder, 
25-pounder,  and  7-pounder  mortars.  Altogether  193,722 
shot  and  shell  were  fired,  of  which  162,600  were  fired  from 
197  Prussian  pieces  of  artillery,  and  31,112  from  Baden 
artillery.  Every  day  a  train  of  thirty-two  wagons  was  required  to 
bring  up  ammunition.  During  the  bombardment  and  the  siege, 
on  the  average  1,200  cwt.  of  metal  (iron  and  lead)  was  thrown 
into  the  fortress  daily.  At  the  time  that  most  of  the  artillery 
were  in  action — that  is  to  say,  approximately,  during  the  last  three 
weeks  of  the  siege — the  fortress  received,at  the  ordinary  rate  of  fire, 
some  6,000  projectiles  during  the  24  hours,  and  of  these  each  one 
exploded  separately.  Wall-pieces,  served  by  some  particularly 
good  marksmen  of  the  Baden  division,  were  made  use  of  from  the 
beginning  of  the  siege.  Wall-piece  detachments  were  formed, 
and  posted  in  the  most  advanced  trenches,  in  order  that  they 
might  023erate  against  particular  guns  of  the  enemy. 

Septeinher  27. — On  this  day  the  defence  was  almost  entirely 
silent,  and  only  now  and  then  gave  signs  of  life.  But,  though 
this  was  the  case,  all  were  surprised  and  astonished  when,  at  5 
o'clock  in  the  afternoon,  white  flags  were  seen  to  wave  on  the 
cathedral,  and  on  bastions  11  and  12.  At  the  same  time,  a  flag  of 
truce  announced  that  the  governor  wished  to  treat  for  the  surrender 
of  the  fortress. 

September  28. — At  2  a.m.  the  terms  of  capitulation  were 
agreed  upon  at  Kouigshofen,  and  the  principal  points  were  as 
follows : — 

"Article  1. — At  8  a.m.  on  the  28th  September,  1870,  Lieu- 
tenant-Greneral  Uhrich  evacuates  the  citadel,  the  Austerlitz,  Fischer, 
and  National  gates.  At  the  same  time  the  German  troops  occupy 
these  places. 

"  Article  2. — At  11  o'clock  on  the  same  day  the  P'rench  gar- 
rison, including  mobiles  and  national  guards,  evacuate  the  fortress 
and  lay  down  their  arms. 

"  Article  3. — The  troops  of  the  line  and  gardes  mobiles  become 
prisoners  of  war,  and  march  off  with  their  baggage.  The  national 
guards  and  the  franc-tireurs  are  free  on  specified  conditions,  and 
give  up  their  arms  at  the  mayoralty. 

"  Article  4. — The  officers  and  officials  ranking  as  non-com- 
missioned officers  depart  to  such  residences  as  they  may  select,  on 
a  written  engagement  '  upon  honour.'  Those  who  do  not  do  so, 
go  with  the  garrison  as  prisoners  of  war  to  Germany. 

"  Article  5. — Lieutenant-General  Uhrich  undertakes,  imme- 
diately after  the  arms  are  laid  do\yn,  to  hand  over  all  military 
property,  and  the  public  chest." 

This  capitulation  was  signed,  on  the  part  of  the  Germans,  by 
Lieutenant-Colonel   von   Lescinsky,  chief   of   the    general    staff, 


and  Captain  and  Adjutant  Count  Henckel  von  Donnersmarck ;  and 
on  the  part  of  the  French  by  the  commandant  of  Strasburg-, 
Colonel  Ducasse,  and  by  Lieutenant-Colonel  Mangin,  sub-director 
of  artillery.     It  was  ratified  by  Lieutenant-Creneral  von  Werder. 

The  Germans  received  into  their  hands,  in  consequence  of  this 
capitulation,  451  officers,  17,111  men  (including  7,000  national 
guards),  and  some  2,000  sick,  1,843  horses,  more  than  1,200  pieces 
of  bronze  ordnance,  3,000  cwt.  of  powder,  12,000  chassepot  rifles, 
50  locomotives,  and  great  quantities  of  other  warlike  stores.  The 
prisoners  of  war  were  sent  to  Rastatt. 

In  accordance  with  Article  2  of  the  capitulation,  detachments 
of  the  siege  corps  of  all  arms  were  posted  during  the  morning 
between  the  roads  leading  to  Zabern  and  to  Konigshofen,  while  the 
French  marched  out  between  lunette  44  and  redoubt  37.  The 
march-past  of  the  latter  was  commenced  by  Lieutenant-General 
Uhrich,  followed  by  General  Barral,  of  tlie  artillery,  and  Admiral 
Exelmann,  who  was  to  have  commanded  the  Rliine  flotilla.  The 
troops  marched  at  first  in  their  ranks,  but  afterwards  in  disorder. 
They  defiled  past  Lieutenant-General  von  Werder,  in  the  presence 
of  H.R.H.  the  Grand  Duke  of  Baden. 

In  Strasburg  both  Lieutenant-General  L^hrich  and  the  pre- 
fect had  issued  proclamations  to  the  citizens,  in  which  they  ex- 
pressed their  sympathy  with  the  hard  lot  of  the  inhabitants 
during  the  siege,  and  their  confidence  that  they  would  accept  the 
new  state  of  affairs  worthily  and  peaceably. 

September  29. — The  taking  over  of  the  property,  barracks, 
&c.  continued.  The  commimications  destroyed  were  repaired 
and  opened,  especially  the  bridges  and  gateways  of  the  fortress. 

September  30 — being  the  birthday  of  Her  Majesty  the  Queen, 
and  a  day  to  be  remembered  after  the  occupation  of  Strasburg  for 
200  years  by  the  French  troops — the  entry  of  the  siege  army 
corps  took  place,  with  Lieutenant-General  von  Werder  at  its  head. 
This  event  was  celebrated  by  a  thanksgiving  service  in  the  church 
of  St.  Thomas.  The  siege  cost  the  garrison  some  2,000  men 
killed  and  wounded,  the  civil  population  some  400  or  500  persons, 
and  the  besieging  army  43  officers,  and  863  men  killed  and 

Without  making  any  imputation  on  the  military  honour  of  the 
brave  and  worthy  governor,  but  looking  at  the  matter  in  a  purely 
military  aspect,  it  is  a  fact  that  the  time  for  capitulation  had 
not  arrived.  More  light  will  probably  be  thrown  on  this  point 
hereafter.  The  want  of  discipline  was  no  doubt  one  cause  of 
disaster  for  the  defence,  but  it  is  nevertheless  certain  that  even  a 
better  garrison  could  not  have  held  out  mucli  longer.  For  to 
remain  on  the  ramparts  under  the  incessant  cannonade  was  almost 
impossible  ;  a  breach  had  been  effected,  the  citadel  was  almost 
destroyed,  the  entrance  gateway  of  the  city  was  shot  to  pieces. 
Under  these  circumstances,  and  as  there  was  no  flanking  fire 
along  the  bottom  of  the  ditches,  an  attempt  to  storm  the  fortress 
was  almost  sure  of  success.  The  capitulation,  at  all  events,  had 
the  effect  of  preventing  one  or  more  assaults,  which  would  have 


entailed  more  bloodshed  and  serious  loss  of  life.  The  capture  of 
Strasburg  was  of  decided  military  importance  for  the  prosecution 
of  the  war,  but  it  was  of  far  greater  moment  politically.  The 
German  city  of  Strashurg  had  surrendered  to  us,  had  again 
become  German,  and  ivoidd,  it  ivas  hoped,  long  remain  so.  In 
a  few  years  the  city,  heavily  though  it  suffered  by  the  war — for 
its  losses  have  been  publicly  estimated  to  amount  to  50,800,000 
francs  (£2,032,000) — will  flourish  again,  and  its  wounds,  which 
we  inflicted  with  heavy  hearts,  will  be  healed. 




(plate  VIII.) 

ScHLETTSTADT,  a  fortress  of  the  second  class — which  indicates, 
however,  only  its  present  relative  position — is  situated  on  the  111, 
not  far  from  the  small  affluent  the  Griesen,  and  consists  of  eight 
tolerably  regular  bastions,  constrvicted  on  Vauban's  principles  in 
]  673.  Most  of  the  bastions  are  provided  with  ravelins  of  the  form 
of  small  lunettes.  Nine  similar  works  are  placed  in  the  re-enter- 
ing angles  at  the  foot  of  the  glacis,  and  of  these  one  on  the  north 
and  one  on  the  south  front  respectively,  are  advanced  farther  into 
the  country.  These  works  are  obviously  intended  to  bring  the 
ground  in  front  under  a  cross-fire,  and  to  keep  the  works  of  a 
besieger  at  a  distance  from  the  enceinte,  for  which  piu'pose  they 
have  been  constructed  with  a  low  profile,  so  that  their  fire  may  be 
as  grazing  as  possible.  There  are  no  other  outworks,  except  a 
redoubt  raised  in  the  inundated  ground  to  the  south  of  the  fortress. 
Most  of  the  bastions  have  orillons  to  protect  the  retired  flanks, 
and  some  of  them  have  cavaliers  seeing  far  over  the  country.  The 
curtains  are  broken.  The  fortress  contains  three  powder-magazines, 
an  arsenal,  and  several  barracks.  The  last-named  buildings  are 
not  bombproof.  Three  gates,  each  covered  by  one  of  the  ravelins, 
lead  respectively  to  Colmar,  Strasburg,  and  Neu-Breisach.  The 
important  highroad  from  Strasburg  to  Colmar  passes  by  the 
fortress,  300  paces  to  the  westward ;  400  paces  farther  to  the  west 
is  the  railroad  between  Belfort,  Basle,  and  Strasburg.  The  111, 
always  full  of  water,  can  be  made  use  of,  by  means  of  a  well-pro- 
tected sluice  near  the  Gate  of  Breisach,  for  inundating  the  ground 
to  the  south  of  the  fortress,  which  is  partly  meadow-land  and 
partly  marsh.  Several  branches  of  the  stream  are  also  avail- 
able for  this  purpose.  At  the  same  time  part  of  the  ditches  of 
the  fortress  can  be  supplied  with  water. 

The  strategic  object  of  Schlettstadt  is  to  command  the  railway 
leading  to  Belfort  and  Besanpon,  the  highroad  already  mentioned, 
at  the  mouth  of  the  populous  and  industrious  Vosges  valley  of  St. 
Marie-aux-Mines,  through  which  pass  the  railway  and  road  to 
Luneville.  During  the  war  it  served  for  the  numerous  bands  of 
franc-tireurs,  who  hung  about  Upper  Alsace,  as  a  place  of  as- 
sembly, of  which  it  was  necessary  to  deprive  them.  The  passage 
of  the  Vosges  here  had  the  advantage  that  it  was  never  closed  by 
snowdrifts,  as  happens  frequently  with  most  of  the  mountain- 
passes  thereabouts. 

It  will  be  remembered,  that  on  the  14th  September  a  detach- 


ment,  composed  of  troops  of  the  Grand  Duchy  of  Baden — consist- 
ing of  four  battalions,  eight  squadrons,  three  batteries,  and  a 
pioneer  detachment — under  the  command  of  Greneral  Keller,  was 
ordered  from  the  Strasburg  siege  corps  to  disarm  Upper  Alsace, 
disperse  the  franc-tireurs,  and  prevent  the  organisation  of  a  popu- 
lar war  in  that  quarter.  A  detachment  of  Baden  troops,  with  the 
same  objects,  had  in  the  beginning  of  September  already  won  a 
victory  at  Markirch.  This  mission  led  also  to  a  reconnaissance 
being  undertaken  against  Schlettstadt,  and  in  this  way  trustworthy 
information  was  obtained  with  regard  to  the  garrison  and  the 
state  of  preparation  of  the  fortress.  Tlie  preparations  were  fully 
completed ;  the  rayon  was  clear  of  cover,  and  the  glacis  of  timber, 
while  the  country  round  was  placed  under  water.  The  conviction 
was  arrived  at,  that  the  fortress  was  not  to  be  taken  by  a  sudden 
attack,  and  it  was  thought  sufficient  at  the  time  to  break  the 
telegraphic  communication  with  Colmar,  and  to  destroy  the  railway 
by  blowing  up  some  bridges.  The  fortress  was  also  observed  more 
completely  than  before,  and  was  occasionally  shelled  with  iield- 
guns,  after  an  unavailing  demand  to  surrender  had  been  made  to  the 
commandant  (Count  von  Reinach),  on  the  strength  of  the  events 
that  had  taken  place  at  Sedan. 

Meanwhile  in  the  neighbourhood  of  Freiburg,  in  Breisgau,  on 
the  right  (the  German)  bank  of  the  Rhine,  the  formation  of 
the  4th  Prussian  reserve  division,  under  the  command  of 
Major-General  von  Schmeling,  had  been  completed.  It  received 
orders,  accordingly,  to  commence  its  military  career  with  the  cap- 
ture of  the  fortresses  of  Schlettstadt  and  Neu-Breisach.  For 
this  end  the  division  crossed  the  Rhine,  on  the  1st  and  2nd 
October,  at  Neuenburg,  five  leagues  above  Neu-Breisach,  by  means 
of  ferry-boats,  which  had  been  in  preparation  for  some  time  pre- 
viously, in  consequence  of  the  resistance  of  the  French  population 
in  that  quarter. 

In  this  state  of  affairs  orders  were  given  to  invest  Neu-Breisach 
at  the  same  time.  Action  was  chiefly,  however,  taken  against 
Schlettstadt,  as  it  was  convenient  to  have  the  rear  free,  and  to  have 
direct  communication  with  Strasburg,  which  was  necessary  in 
order  to  draw  from  thence  siege-materiel  of  all  descriptions,  and 
especially  heavy  siege-guns. 

That  part  of  the  4th  reserve  division  which  was  told  off  for 
the  closer  investment  of  the  fortress  of  Schlettstadt,  consisted  of 
battalions  of  the  1st,  3rd,  4th,  5th,  43rd,  and  45th  landwehr  regi- 
ments, the  25th  (1st  Rhenish)  regiment  (which  had  just  arrived 
from  Schleswig,  and  was  attached  to  the  division),  of  two  reserve 
field-batteries,  and  of  one  squadron  each  of  the  1st  East  Prussian  and 
the  3rd  reserve  ulan  regiments.  These  troops,  on  the  9th  October, 
went  into  cantonments  close  round  the  fortress.  After  the  Com- 
mandant of  the  fortress  had  rejected,  offliand,  the  demand  to 
surrender,  with  the  words  "  mes  conditions  seront  les  canons,"  steps 
were  at  once  taken  for  bringing  from  Strasburg  the  necessary 
materials  for  the  siege — guns,  brushwood,  &c. — and  the  siege  detach- 
ment was  reinforced  by  the  11th  garrison  company  of  artillery. 


and  four  garrison  pioneer  companies — viz.,  two  Prussian  and 
one  Bavarian  company,  and  one  company  of  the  Grand  Duchy 
of  Baden.  The  siege  artillery  was  placed  under  the  command  of 
Lieutenant-Colonel  von  Scheliha,  and  Lieutenant-Colonel  .Sander, 
of  the  engineer  staff,  directed  the  works  of  the  siege. 

On  the  night  of  the  19th-20th  October  a  battery  was  con- 
structed against  the  east  front  of  the  fortress,  on  the  other  side  of 
the  inundated  ground,  and  was  armed  with  four  rifled  1 2-pounders. 
This  battery  opened  fire  on  the  morning  of  the  20th  October,  and 
had  to  maintain  a  fight  alone,  for  three  days,  against  nine  guns  of 
the  fortress. 

The  south-west  front  was  selected  for  the  attack,  because  the 
groimd  there  was  beyond  the  limits  of  the  inundation,  and  was 
such  that  the  trenches  might  be  expected  to  be  dry.  The  latter 
was  an  advantage  not  to  be  despised.  Headquarters  during  the 
bombardment  were  in  Kiihnheim. 

On  the  night  of  the  22nd-23rd  October,  the  first  parallel,  with 
communications  to  tlie  rear,  was  thrown  up  by  the  common  saj^*' 
opposite  the  south-west  front.  It  was  at  a  distance  of  only  700 
paces  from  the  fortress,  and  though  it  was  so  close,  and  the  night 
was  clear  and  quiet,  it  was  not  observed  by  the  enemy.  This  shows 
how  poorly  they  did  their  duty,  for  they  seem  to  have  altogether 
omitted  to  send  out  night-patrols  over  the  ground  in  front  of  the 
works.  The  trench-work  was  commenced  as  night  fell,  and  was 
very  difficult,  on  account  of  the  rocky  nature  of  the  soil ;  the  few 
shells  and  case,  which  towards  morning  were  fired  from  the 
fortress,  went  much  too  far,  and  occasioned  the  loss  of  only  three  men. 
At  the  same  time  that  these  trenches  were  put  in  hand,  the  con- 
struction of  six  separate  siege-batteries  was  commenced  ;  and  on  the 
morning  of  the  23rd  they  were  armed  with  -1:4  guns  in  all — namely, 
12  rifled  24-pounders,  20  rifled  1 2-pounders,  and  12  heavy  mortars — 
and  forthwith  opened  fire.  The  fire  was  directed  chiefly  against 
the  gates  within  reach,  the  works,  and  the  military  buildings. 
Unavoidably,  however,  some  of  tlie  townspeople's  houses  were  also 
set  in  flames.  The  artillery  of  the  garrison  brought  into  action 
some  30  guns.  The  activity  which  they  displayed  in  replacing  the 
numerous  guns  that  were  dismounted,  and  in  adding  to  and  altering 
the  emplacements  for  guns,  deserves  recognition.  However,  the 
injuries  done  by  the  siege-batteries  to  the  guns  of  the  garrison 
were  considerable,  and  it  was  barely  possible  for  them  to  remain  on 
the  ramparts.  The  Colmar  gate,  with  its  drawbridges,  was  shot 
to  pieces.  Under  these  circumstances  it  was  not  surprising  that  the 
fire  of  the  garrison  should  gradually  slacken,  wliile  the  besiegers, 
on  the  night  of  the  23rd-24th  October,  kept  up  theirs  successfully, 
and  with  ever-increasing  effect. 

On  the  24th  October,  about  9  a.m.,  the  French  hung  out  the 
white  flag  on  the  cathedral  and  on  some  of  the  works,  and  in  con- 
sequence Major  von  Kretschman,  of  the  general  staff,  was  sent  into 
the  fortress,  to  commence  negotiations  for  a  surrender.  The 
governor  desired  an  armistice  for  24  hours,  which  was,  however, 

*  See  note  p.  4G. 


only  granted  to  him  until  2.30  in  the  afternoon.  There  is  no 
doubt  that  tlie  state  of  affairs  in  the  fortress  materially  hastened 
the  conclusion  of  a  capitulation.  In  consequence  of  the  damage 
by  fire  caused  by  the  siege-batteries,  as  mentioned  above,  to  the 
buildings  of  the  town,  the  townspeople  were  urgent  for  a  surrender ; 
but  of  still  more  importance  was  the  demoralised  condition  of  the 
garrison,  among  whom  there  was  no  longer  any  discipline.  The 
want  of  trained  artillerymen,  who  were  scarcely  sufficient  for  two 
reliefs,  and  (as  at  Strasburg)  the  entire  absence  of  any  detachment 
of  engineers,  were  undoubtedly  most  disadvantageous  to  the  defence. 
Soldierlike  spirit  and  military  discipline  had  been  alike  irrecover- 
ably lost  ever  since  the  place  had  been  first  invested.  It  could  not 
otherwise  have  happened  that  a  detachment  of  300  gardes  mobiles, 
who  had  been  sent  on  a  reconnaissance  to  some  distance  from  the 
fortress,  never  came  back  again,  but  preferred  to  go  home,  and 
there  willingly  allowed  themselves  to  be  disarmed  by  some  Baden 
troops,  without  offering  any  resistance.  In  fact,  on  the  day  of  the 
capitulation,  the  garrison  were  for  the  most  part  drunk,  and  em- 
ployed in  pillaging,  and  had  thrown  off  all  discipline.  Some  of 
them  actually  set  fire  to  private  houses,  and  went  about  with  the 
intention  of  blowing  up  the  powder-magazines. 

While  the  French  officers  were  endeavoviring  to  prevent  this, 
the  governor  tliought  proper,  contrary  to  his  instructions  and  to 
the  custom  of  war,  to  leave  the  fortress,  and  continue  the  negotia- 
tions outside  the  gates  within  range  of  the  besiegers'  forces,  and 
under  these  circumstances  brought  them,  at  any  rate,  to  a  rapid 
conclusion.  The  capitulation  was  not  even  ratified  by  the  general 
in  command,  but,  as  a  precaution  against  greater  mishaps,  three 
Prussian  battalions  marched  into  the  fortress,  to  prevent  further 
excesses  of  the  French  garrison,  and  chiefly  to  protect  the 
threatened  powder-magazines,  which  were  pointed  out  in  detail 
by  Colonel  Pinot,  commanding  the  artillery.  About  3  o'clock  in 
the  afternoon  the  capitulation  was  concluded,  and  an  hour  later  the 
fortress  was  evacuated  by  the  garrison  of  100  officers  and  2,000 
men  of  the  different  arms,  including  gardes  •  mobiles,  who  were 
made  prisoners  of  war.  In  consequence  of  an  order  proceeding 
from  headquarters,  the  officers  did  not,  as  in  previous  capitula- 
tions, have  the  option  granted  to  them  of  going  away  free  on 
parole.  The  booty  consisted  chiefly  of  122  garrison  guns,  50  of 
them  rifled — of  which  116  were  mounted  on  the  ramparts,  but  24 
had  been  dismounted — besides  considerable  stocks  of  tobacco,  pro- 
visions, and  stores  of  other  descriptions. 

The  damages  done  to  private  property  by  the  bombardment 
were  estimated  at  2,500,000  francs  (£100,000). 

On  the  25th  October,  Major-General  von  Schmeling  made  his 
entry  into  the  fortress.  The  occasion  was  celebrated  by  ringing 
the  bells,  and  by  holding  an  evangelical  and  catholic  thanksgiving 

Plate.  IX. 

Fapyroty-pe  S.MK. 



(plate  IX.) 

Neu-Breisacii  was  at  one  time  a  model  fortress  of  Marshal 
Vauban,  and  is  built  according  to  liis  third  system.  It  consists  of 
a  regular  bastioned  octagon,  at  the  salients  of  which  bastion-shaped 
towers  have  been  erected.  The  ditches  are  dry,  and  swept 
by  the  fire  of  sunken  works  in  front  of  the  curtains,  called 
'  tenailles',  while  the  masonry  of  the  bastions  is  protected  from  di- 
rect fire  by  large  outworks  or  count  erguards.  In  front  of  the  eight 
tenailles  are  situated  the  same  number  of  very  spacious  ravelins, 
which  are  thus  placed,  both  to  fire,  generally,  over  the  ground  in 
front,  and  also  to  give  a  cross-fire  over  the  space  in  front  of  the 
bastions.  The  roads  to  Colmar,  Strasburg,  Basle,  and  Belfort  pass 
through  the  ravelins,  so  that  the  entrances,  and  the  lines  of  the 
roads,  are  thoroughly  swept  by  the  fire  of  the  guns.  There  are 
no  outworks  anywhere,  except  a  small  lunette  built  close  to  the  foot 
of  the  glacis  in  front  of  the  east  face,  and  intended  to  flank  the 
Rhone-Ehine  canal.  Fort  Mortier,  which  played  an  important 
part  in  the  bombardment  of  the  place,  lies  about  2,000  paces 
from  the  fortress,  towards  which  it  faces.  It  serves  apparently 
as  a  bridge-head,  and  is  supported  on  the  defences  of  Alt- 
Breisach,  which  have  long  since  fallen  into  ruins.  As  it  was  situ- 
ated on  the  French  bank  of  the  river,  and  could  be  advantageously 
made  use  of  for  the  defence  of  the  ground  between  Neu-Breisach 
and  the  Rhine,  and  also  to  command  the  island  there,  which,  with 
a  flying-bridge,  formed  a  means  of  communication  with  Alt-Brei- 
sach,  it  had,  in  spite  of  its  advanced  position,  been  maintained  as 
a  means  of  strengthening  the  fortress,  and  had  been  made  securely 
defensible,  by  the  addition  of  a  suitable  gorge,  in  the  form  of  a 
bastioned  front,  on  the  side  towards  Grermany.  The  fortress  had 
ample  oasemated  buildings  and  well-protected  powder-magazines. 
More  recently,  its  defensive  strength  had  been  increased  by  the 
construction  of  earthen  traverses,  and  of  shelter-casemates  on  the 
rampart,  to  afford  cover  for  the  guard  of  the  ramparts  and  the  men 
serving  the  guns. 

The  Rlione-Rhine  canal  flows  through  the  ground  in  front  of 
the  fortress,  circles  round  the  east  front,  and  is  of  some  use  for  the 
defence.  A  second  canal,  the  canal  de  Vauban,  flows  round  the 
west  of  the  fortress,  and  connects  the  111  with  the  Rhine-Rhone  canal. 
The  ground  in  front  lies  low  everywhere,  and  is  protected  on  the  east 
by  the  banks  of  the  Rhine,  which  are  clothed  with  willow  plan- 
tations, and  by  the  numerous  islands,  and  on  the  west  by  the  Kasten 
Wald.    The  surrounding  country  is  divided,  for  defensive  purposes, 


into  several  sections  by  the  features  of  the  ground.  The  town, 
being  purely  a  military  fortress,  is  very  regularly  built,  and  ex- 
clusively of  one-storied  houses.  It  has  only  3,500  inhabitants,  most 
of  them  employed  in  the  timber  trade.  Neu-Breisach  had  never 
before  been  besieged. 

The  occupation  of  Neu-Breisach  was  necessary  for  the  German 
forces,  because  the  fortress  bars  the  roads  leading  by  Colmar,  which 
is  only  a  few  miles  distant,  to  Luneville,  and  also  the  Ehine-Ehone 
canal,  and  because,  by  its  capture,  the  last  stronghold  in  Upper 
Alsace — from  which,  moreover,  operations  could  have  been  under- 
taken against  the  Baden  Oberland — would  be  wrested  from  the 

The  constant  good  fortune  which  had  attended  the  Grerman 
arms  since  the  beginning  of  the  campaign  had  produced  an  ex- 
treme feeling  of  exasperation  among  the  population  of  Upper 
Alsace,  who,  already  prejudiced  against  everything  German,  had 
hitherto  been  spared  the  horrors  of  war.  This  feeling  had 
especially  taken  root  in  the  great  manufacturing  towns,  Colmar 
and  Mlihlhausen,  and  had  been  cherished  by  every  means  avail- 
able. Circumstances  necessitated  the  closing  of  a  great  many 
of  the  manufactories.  Terrorism  was  the  result,  and  many  thou- 
sand workmen,  thus  deprived  of  their  daily  bread,  were  placed  in  a 
most  precarious  position.  It  suited  the  purpose  of  the  authori- 
ties to  give  to  the  public  feeling  a  purely  political  colouring,  in 
order  to  organise  thoroughly  a  popular  war,  and  for  ttiis  purpose 
to  make  use  of  Neu-Breisach  as  a  central  rallying- point  for 
the  movement.  Partly  on  these  accounts,  and  also  to  obtain  more 
detailed  information  concerning  the  fortresses  of  Schlettstadt, 
and  especially  Neu-Breisach,  which  were  then  coming  into  notice, 
small  reconnoitring  parties  were  sent  out  at  the  beginning  ot 
September,  both  from  the  force  investing  Strasburg,  and  from 
the  German  troops  stationed  in  the  Baden  Oberland,  who 
crossed  the  Rhine  for  the  purpose.  Finally,  on  the  14th  Sep- 
tember, Baden  patrols  pushed  their  way  close  up  to  Breisach, 
and  showed  themselves  in  Arzenheim  and  Biesheim,  to  the  north 
of  the  fortress,  after  crossing  the  Rhine  between  Diebolsheim  and 
Kappel.  In  consequence  of  this,  the  bridge  which  crosses  the 
Rhine  at  the  custom-house,  was  blown  up  with  gunpowder  b}^  the 
garrison  of  Breisach. 

As  has  been  already  mentioned,  in  speaking  of  Strasburg  and 
Schlettstadt,  a  detachment  of  the  troops  of  the  Grand  Duchy  of 
Baden,  under  the  command  of  General  Keller,  marclied  on  the 
same  day  from  the  circle  of  investment  of  Strasburg  for  Upper 
Alsace,  and  with  this  object  in  view  arrived  on  the  15th  September 
at  Colmar,  on  the  1 6th  at  Miihlhausen.  On  arriving  at  Colmar, 
they  received  exact  intelligence  that  the  commandant  of  Neu- 
Breisach  was  aware  of  this  expedition,  and  would  oppose  General 
Keller's  advance.  To  prevent  this  being  done,  an  attempt  was 
made  on  the  part  of  the  Germans  to  find  the  enemy,  and  in 
consequence  a  squadron  of  the  2nd  regiment  of  Baden  dragoons 
and   the  fusilier   battalion  of  the    5th  Baden  regiment  almost 


immediately  came  into  contact  with  them.  On  the  loth  this 
flanking  column,  which  was  intended  to  cover  the  further  advance 
to  Colmar,  was  involved  in  an  engagement  with  the  enemy,  south 
of  Kiinheim.  The  latter  consisted  of  a  party  of  gardes  mobiles 
and  a  detachment  of  cavalry  from  the  fortress,  into  which  they 
were  at  once  driven  back.  The  Baden  troops  suffered  only  the 
small  loss  of  two  men  and  five  horses,  but  that  of  the  French  was 
far  more  considerable.  In  this  encounter  Second-Lieutenant 
Maier  was  taken  prisoner,  but  immediately  rescued  again  by  his 

While  Breisach  was  observed  by  a  small  party  of  Baden  troops, 
the  main  body  of  Greneral  Keller's  detachment  was  performing 
the  duty  with  which  it  had  been  charged.  It  occupied  Colmar, 
Miihlhausen,  and  Cernay,  hunted  down  the  French  bands  of  franc- 
tireurs,  disarmed  the  communes,  and  started  upon  its  return  to 
Strasburg,  after  drawing  in  the  detachment  which  had  been  left 
before  Breisach.  The  commandant  of  the  fortress  took  advantage 
of  the  opportunity  to  seize  at  Munzenheim,  on  the  19th 
September,  a  convoy  of  arms,  w^hich  was  on  its  way,  under  an 
escort  of  thirty  men,  from  Miihlhausen  for  the  Baden  troops. 
General  Keller's  detachment  arrived  before  Strasburg  again  on  the 
20th  September,  and  soon  after  its  return  the  gardes  mobiles  in 
Colmar  and  Miihlhausen  once  more  took  up  arms.  A  party  of 
French  troops  of  the  line,  coming  from  Belfort,  occupied 
Miihlhausen ;  the  garrison  of  Breisach  was  reinforced  by  some 
gardes  mobiles,  and  scoured  the  country  round,  especially  the 
banks  of  the  Ehine,  with  numerous  patrols.  The  French  gardes 
mobiles  and  franc-tireurs  appeared  again  in  many  jjlaces  on  the 
Upper  Rhine,  and  now,  as  before,  spread  disorder  around.  It 
seemed  as  if  the  expedition  of  General  Keller  had  been  premature, 
as  at  that  time  they  were  not  ordered  to  occupy  permanently  the 
district  in  question  ;  for  this  purpose  the  detachment  was  too  weak. 

In  order  to  put  an  end  to  these  French  republican  movements 
in  Upper  Alsace,  and  especially  to  cut  them  off  from  Neu-Breisach, 
which  served  as  a  rallying  point  for  these  operations,  in  the  begin- 
ning of  October  detachments  of  the  4th  Prussian  reserve  divi- 
sion, then  in  course  of  formation,  were  sent  across  the  Ehine  from 
Breisgau  to  invest  the  fortress. 

On  the  5th  October,  towards  evening,  the  French,  about 
2,000  strong,  made  a  sortie,  whicli  was  vigorously  repulsed  by  three 
companies  of  the  43rd  landwehr  regiment.  These  were  em- 
ployed foraging  in  the  villages  of  Heitern,  Balgau,  and  Nams- 
heim.  The  troops  engaged  in  the  sortie  suffered  severely  from  a 
heavy  Prussian  battery,  which  hurried  up  at  a  trot  from  the  canton- 
ments in  rear.  From  the  7th  October  the  place  was  preliminarily 
bombarded  with  field-guns  only,  which  nevertheless  set  the  town 
on  fire  in  several  places.  This  cannonade  was  particidarly  heavy 
in  the  later  hours  of  the  day,  and  especially  from  the  south-west 
and  north  sides.  It  was  interrupted  for  a  short  time  at  night,  and 
continued  with  the  same  vigour  on  the  following  day.  The  artil- 
lery of  the    garrison    answered  the  fire  as  well  as   they   could. 


Meanwhile  the  investing  force  before  the  place  was  reinforced 
with  troops,  and  with  siege  materiel  adapted  for  a  more  effective 
bombardment.  Siege  artillery,  &c.  were  eventually  sent  from 
Strasburg,  so  that  by  the  9th  October  the  blockade  of  the  fortress 
may  be  said  to  have  been  close  and  complete.  In  order  to  facili- 
tate the  communication  of  the  troops,  and  the  forwarding  of 
materiel  on  the  right  bank  of  the  Ehine,  arrangements  were  made 
for  crossing  the  Ehine,  chiefly  with  French  bridging  materials, 
between  Arzenheim  on  the  one  side,  and  Jechtlingen  on  the 
other  side,  about  If  miles  (8j  English  miles)  north  of  Neu- 

On  the  12th  and  loth  October  small  sorties  and  engagements 
at  the  outposts  took  place  without  leading  to  any  result  of  im- 

On  the  26th  October  the  investing  and  siege  corps  consisted 


11  battalions  "1         r.  , ,      a^-v.  -n 

„  ,  I       01  the  4th  Prussian  reserve 

2  squadrons  |-  y   '  ' 

4  field-batteries        J 

11  garrison  companies  of  artillery,  including  one  company  of 
the  3rd  Bavarian  regiment  of  garrison  artillery,  and  two 
of  the  Baden  garrison  artillery. 
4  companies  of  Prussian  pioneers. 

Major- General  von  Schmeling  was  in  command  of  this  corps. 
The  commanders  of  the  siege  artillery  and  of  the  engineers  were, 
respectively,  Lieutenant-Colonel  von  Scheliha  and  Lieutenant- 
Colonel  Sander.  Headquarters  were  in  Klinheim,  one  mile  (4f 
English  miles)  from  Neu-Breisach,  on  the  road  to  Strasburg. 

As  it  was  intended  to  oj^erate  on  Fort  Mortier  from  the  right 
bank  of  the  Rhine,  the  artillery  attack  was  undertaken  on  that 
side — in  the  same  manner  as  before  Strasburg — by  two  com- 
panies of  garrison  artillery  and  one  siege  battery,  both  of  the 
Grand  Duchy  of  Baden,  with  the  aid  of  12  siege-pieces,  con- 
sisting of  heavy  ^;uns  and  mortars. 

The  construction  of  the  batteries  took  place  simultaneously 
on  both  banks  of  the  Rhine,  on  the  night  of  the  1st  and  2nd 
November,  and  was  not  interfered  with  by  the  enemy.  The 
Prussians  built  their  batteries  near  the  villages  Biesheim  and 
Wolfgantzen,  the  Baden  troops  about  a  quarter  of  a  league  below 
Alt-Breisach,  on  a  conveniently  situated  hill,  and  all  opened 
together  against  the  fortress  on  the  2nd  November.  The  fire  was 
directed  more  particularly  upon  the  fronts  of  the  fortifications 
opposite,  and  upon  the  gates  and  bridges  visible,  or  that  could  be 
struck,  their  positions  on  the  north-west  and  north-east  fronts 
being  accurately  known,  as  w^ell  as  against  Fort  Mortier  and  the 
splinter-proofs  there,  and  the  masonry  that  could  be  hit.  A  great 
effect  was  produced,  especially  in  the  latter  work.  Both  the  posi- 
tion and  the  armament  of  the  batteries  were  very  happily  chosen. 
On  the  left  bank  of  the  Rhine  only  guns  were  employed, — namely, 
long  and  short  24-pounders,  and  siege  12-pounders,  and  on  the 
right  bank  there  were  also  four  50-pounder  mortars.     The  infantry 


detachment  told  off  to  guard  these  batteries  was  obliged,  in  order 
to  maintain  a  careful  watch  over  the  fortress,  to  push  its 
outposts  by  day  up  to  1,000  paces,  and  by  night,  of  course 
nearer,  up  to  400  paces,  right  on  to  the  glacis.  They  were 
provided  with  tools  for  making  rifle-pits  to  obtain  cover,  and 
thence  patrols  were  sent  forward  stealthily  to  the  glacis.  The 
duty  was  as  arduous  for  our  landwehr  as  it  was  dangerous.  A  bold 
deed  that  was  done  on  one  such  occasion  deserves  mention.  Deputy 
Sergeant-Major  Blass,  of  the  Gumbinnen  landwehr  battalion,, 
with  a  patrol,  fell  upon  a  French  picket  in  a  house  close  in  front 
of  the  glacis,  and  made  them  prisoners. 

The  capitulation  of  Metz  was  officially  communicated  to  the 
commandant  of  the  fortress ;  this  event  had,  however,  no  influ- 
ence on  his  resolution. 

The  artillery  fight  between  the  German  batteries  that  have 
been  mentioned,  and  the  guns  of  the  fortress,  lasted  from  the  morn- 
ing of  the  2ud  November,  day  and  night,  with  unabated  vigour, 
till  the  7th,  on  which  day  the  cannonade  was  but  slackly  answered 
from  Fort  Mortier.  Several  of  the  Prussian  batteries  had,  during 
the  night,  received  new  armaments  suited  to  tlie  change  in  their 
objects ;  and  by  a  singular  coincidence,  the  long  24-pounders 
taken  in  Strasburg,  and  the  27-centimetre  mortars  from  Schlett- 
stadt,  did  excellent  service  against  their  countrymen  in  the 
bombarded  town,  where  the  defence  was  unmistakably  conducted 
with  energy  and  skill. 

Although  Fort  Mortier  had  its  buildings  terribly  knocked 
about  in  every  direction  by  the  3rd  November,  and  had  several  of 
its  guns  dismounted,  still  its  garrison  fought  well,  and  kept  up  the 
struggle  with  all  their  strength  with  the  guns  still  remaining  unin- 
jured, which  it  was  impossible  to  replace  from  Neu-Breisach. 

On  the  4th  November  a  great  fire  was  observed  on  the  north- 
west side  of  Neu-Breisach,  near  the  Colmar  gate.  The  fortress 
seconded  the  fire  from  Fort  Mortier,  and  owing  to  its  situation 
set  some  houses  in  Old-Breisach  on  fire,  and  by  this  some  damage 
was  done  on  the  next  day  to  the  cathedral  of  St.  Stephen,  which 
is  remarkable  for  its  architecture. 

On  the  5th  November  the  garrison  attempted  a  sortie. 

On  the  night  of  the  6th-7th  November  two  mortar  batteries 
were  built  by  the  besiegers  on  the  left  side  of  the  Ehine,  to  shell 
the  attacked  fronts  of  the  bastions,  and  were  each  armed  with  four 
mortars  of  heavy  calibre,  in  order  to  bring  a  fire  to  bear  on  the 
very  active  gun  detachments  on  the  ramparts,  and  the  covered 
chambers  there.  An  attempt  made  from  Neu-Breisach  to  with- 
draw the  garrison  of  Fort  jNIortier  failed  the  same  night. 

Complete  preparations  had  already  been  made  by  the  siege 
corps  for  tlie  assault  of  Fort  Mortier,  when  that  work  unex- 
pectedly, on  the  night  of  the  7th-8th  November,  offered  to 
surrender,  and  the  terms  were  arranged  by  jNIajor  von  Kretsch- 
man,  of  the  general  staff,  with  Captain  Casteli,  commanding  the 
fort.  At  the  hour  when  the  assault  would  have  taken  place,  the 
5  officers  and    250   men   marched    as   prisoners    of  war   out    of 


the  fort,  which  in  every  part  presented  a  scene  of  shocking  devas- 
tation. Of  the  seven  guns  that  had  served  for  its  defence,  six 
were  dismounted — an  lionourable  and  brilliant  testimony  to  the 
efficiency  of  the  Baden  batteries  that  were  opposed  to  the  work. 

Soon  after  this  event,  the  defence  of  Neu-Breisach  also  visibly 
became  weaker,  and  the  rapidity  of  fire  hitherto  maintained  fell 
off  materially,  while  the  attacking  batteries  against  the  fortress  on 
the  left  side  of  the  Khine  were  as  active  as  ever.  They  were  com- 
pelled to  capitulate  on  the  10th  November,  and  about  2  o'clock 
on  that  day  white  flags  were  hung  out  on  the  church-tower  of  Neu- 
Breisach,  and  on  the  ramparts.  In  accordance  with  the  terms  of 
a  capitulation,  concluded  by  Major  von  Kretschman  with  the 
French  commandant,  Lieutenant-Colonel  de  Kehor,  at  Biesheim, 
which  was  ratified  at  7  o'clock  in  the  evening  by  Major- 
G-eneral  von  Schmeling,  the  Prussian  troops  occupied  the  four 
gates  of  the  fortress  at  9  o'clock  on  the  morning  of  the  11th 
November.  About  10  o'clock  the  French  garrison  marched  out 
of  the  fortress  through  the  Basle  gate,  in  the  best  order,  under 
their  commandant.  In  front  of  them  was  the  siege  corps  drawn 
up  in  open  square. 

The  Prussians  paid  well-earned  honours  to  the  brave  garrison 
by  presenting  to  them,  and  they  then  began  at  once  to  lay  down 
their  arms,  and  were  marched  off  as  prisoners  of  war. 

Some  of  the  prisoners  were  quartered  at  Sponeck,  others  at  Neu- 
Breisach,  on  the  right  bank  of  the  Rhine.  In  round  numbers  100 
officers  and  5,000  men,  including  three  battalions  of  the  74th 
regiment,  were  taken.  The  spoils  of  war  consisted  of  108  guns, 
60  horses  of  the  cavalry  {chasseurs  a  cheval),  6,000  cwt.  of 
ammunition,  1,300  cwt.  of  powder,  and  no  inconsiderable  stores 
of  provisions,  which  last  were  all  distributed,  by  command  of 
Major-Greneral  von  Schmeling,  for  the  support  of  the  needy  in- 

The  town  had  suffered  extraordinarily  by  the  bombardment, 
especially  by  that  of  the  7th  October.  The  northern  and  south- 
western parts  had  suffered  more  than  the  rest.  The  losses  on  this 
account  that  came  into  liquidation  mounted  up  to  1,300,000 
francs  (52,000^) 

During  the  latter  days  the  greater  part  of  the  inhabitants  were 
accommodated  in  the  casemates,  in  order  to  afford  them  cover  from 
the  destructive  fire  of  the  attacking  batteries.  Humour  gave 
them  the  credit  of  putting  pressure  on  the  commandant,  to  induce 
him  to  surrender  the  place,  which  surrender  was,  at  any  rate,  some- 
what hastened  by  the  death,  on  the  ramparts,  of  the  French  com- 
mander of  the  artillery. 

The  loss  of  the  besiegers  was  very  small,  considering  the  results 
obtained.  It  amounted  altogether  to  8  killed  and  18  wounded,  most 
of  them  belonging  to  the  artillery. 


Plate  X 


7^^  Totes 

lEM.VM  Freruhy  Army  Corps 
^       onthe/ntahtofJlAuaust 



(plate  X.) 

Sedan  is  situated  on  the  railway  from  Tbionville  to  Mezieres,  at  the 
place  where  it  crosses  the  road  leading  outof  Belgium  by  Bouillon. 
It  has  1 6,000  inhabitants  and  is  an  important  manufacturing  town. 
In  the  low-lying  meadow-land  to  the  westward  there  are  many 
water-courses  running  into  the  JNIeuse,  which  flows  through  the 
fortress.  A  mile  (4-68  English  miles)  above  Sedan,  at  Eemilly, 
the  river  receives  the  waters  of  tlie  Chiers.  On  the  east  the  ground 
rises  to  some  steep  wooded  heights  which  make  the  approach  from 
that  quarter  difficult.  The  fortress  of  Sedan  lies  on  the  right  bank 
of  the  Meuse,  opposite  the  suburb  of  Torcy,  which  is  enclosed  by 
fortifications  consisting  of  fom-  bastioned  fronts.  This  bridge-head 
is  united  with  the  main  work  by  connecting  lines  of  a  similar  char- 
acter. The  citadel  with  its  high  profile,  and  the  castle,  in  which 
Marshal  Turenne  was  born  in  1622,  form  the  kernel  of  the  whole. 
Several  hornworks  with  ravelins  cover  the  citadel  on  the  east,  and  in 
front  of  them  a  spacious  entrenchment  has  been  thrown  out,  in 
order  to  bring  under  fire  the  ground,  which  is  much  cut  u]),  and  also 
the  road  to  Liittich.  The  ditches  are  wet  only  on  the  south-front, 
which  lies  low,  and  here,  as  in  other  parts  of  the  fortifications,  they 
have  retaining  walls  in  good  repair.  The  fortress  may,  therefore, 
be  considered  as  perfectly  secure  from  assaidt,  and  an  attack  is  not 
practicable  without  regular  engineering  preliminaries.  However, 
the  masonry  is  not  everywhere  sufficiently  covered,  considering  the 
present  ranges  of  artillery,  for  a  long  resistance.  Nor  does  the 
place  possess  sufficient  bombproof  casemates  for  the  garrison  and 
the  provisions.  Moreover  the  spacious  and  extended  works  on  the 
right  bank  of  the  Meuse  are  not  such  as  to  receive  the  numbers 
of  troops  necessary  for  counter-attacks  on  a  large  scale.  This  is  a 
most  essential  point  if  a  fortress  is  to  be  of  use  in  modern  warfare. 
The  stock  of  provisions  on  hand  was  in  no  case  sufficient  to  maintain, 
even  for  a  few  days,  the  great  masses  of  French  troops  who  were  com- 
pelled to  fall  back  upon  the  fortress  ;  so  that,  immediately  after  the 
battle,  it  became  necessary  to  have  recourse,  by  agreement,  to  the 
resources  of  the  neighbouring  fortress  of  Mezieres. 

The  fortress  cannot  be  looked  upon  as  having  in  itself  any 
gi'eat  strategical  importance.  Nevertheless,  in  its  immediate 
neighbourhood,  owing  to  the  unexpected  course  of  the  events  of 
the  war,  was   fought  one  of  the  most  important  battles  of  the 

36996.  -       F 


campaign  of  1870,  having  results  of  the  widest  influenT;e  on  its 
further  progress. 

It  will  be  remembered  that  immediately  after  the  battles  round 
Metz,  the  movements  and  strength  of  MacMahon's  army  remained 
for  some  time  unknown.  Meanwhile  that  army  had  reached 
Chalons,  and  the  Marshal  had  to  march  thence  to  the  northward  by 
the  positive  command  of  Count  Palikao,  the  War  Minister,  with 
the  object  of  dividing  the  Grerman  forces  and  relieving  Marshal 
Bazaine,  who  was  shut  up  in  Metz.  But  the  Grerman  Army,  on 
the  contrary,  which  was  advancing  on  Paris,  closed  up  to  the  north- 
ward, covered  its  right  flank  with  the  Thionville-Montmedy- 
Sedan  railroad,  and  thus  drove  the  enemy's  forces  from  the  line 
Stenay-Varennes,  into  the  narrow  space  between  the  Mezieres  and 
Sedan  railway  and  the  boundary  of  the  neutral  country  of  Belgium. 

In  consequence  of  the  victory  won  at  Beaumont  on  the  30th  of 
August  by  the  1st  Bavarian,  the  IVth  Prussian,  and  the  Xllth  corps, 
the  situation  of  the  French  Army  in  that  position  became  precarious, 
and  they  were  compelled  to  concentrate  immediately  around 
Sedan.  The  march  to  Metz  must  be  considered  as  completely 
abandoned  at  this  time. 

On  the  31st  of  August  the  Grerman  army  undertook  such  move- 
ments as  were  necessary  for  sm-rounding  the  enemy.  They  kept 
in  contact  with  him,  and  the  artillery  of  the  1st  Bavarian  army 
corps  had  an  opportunity  of  shelling  the  French  columns  as  they 
were  retreating,  at  first  in  some  order,  but  at  last  in  complete  rout, 
upon  Sedan. 

It  was  not  impossible  that  the  French  corps  in  and  round  Sedan, 
threatened  as  they  were  by  the  Grerman  army,  but  still  concentrated, 
might  nevertheless  endeavour,  by  a  rapid  march  to  the  west  or 
east,  to  set  themselves  free  from  their  position.  For  this  reason 
the  G-erman  army  had  to  draw  more  closely  round  them  an  unbroken 
girdle  of  investment. 

Accordingly,  on  the  evening  of  the  31st  of  August  and  during 
the  following  night,  the  Grerman  armies  were  posted  as  follows  : — 

IVth  Akmt. — Right  Wing. 

The  Gruard  Corps  at  Carignan  on  the  right  bank  of  the  Chiers. 

The  Xllth  Saxon  Corps  at  Mairy. 

The  IVth  Corps  on  the  left  bank  of  the  Meuse  at  Sedan. 

IIIrd  Aemy. — Left  Wing. 

The  1st  Bavarian  Corps  at  Eemilly. 
The  Ilnd  Bavarian  Corps  at  Raucourt. 
The  Vth  Prussian  Corps  at  Chehery. 
The  Xlth  Prussian  Corps  at  Donchery. 
The  Royal  Wiirtemberg  Division  at  Boutauc6m-t. 
The  Vlth  Army  Corps  in  reserve  at  Attigny  and  Semuy,  ready 
to  stop  the  enemy  if  he  should  break  out  to  the  westward. 

Opposite  to  the  positions  of  the  Germans  the  French  on  the 
same  night  stood  thus  : — 


1.  Right  Wing. — 12th  corps,  Gfeneral  Lebrun,  at  La  Moncelle, 

Platiniere,  and  Petite  Moncelle. 

2.  In  the  Centre^  on  the  heights  of  Daigny  and  between  La 
Moncelle  and  Givonne,  the  1st  corps,  General  Ducrot. 
The  5th  corps,  General  Wimpffen,  on  the  heights  which 
command  the  Givonne  valley,  rested  its  right  on  the  1st 
and  its  left  on  the  3rd  corps. 

3.  Left  Wing. — The  3rd  corps,  General  Douay,  from  Floing  as 

far  as  the  hill  of  Illy. 

The  position  described  an  arc  of  a  circle  round  Sedan  from 
south-west  to  north-west,  and  extended  over  a  line  of  5 
kilometres  {"^-^-^  miles)  in  length,  about  4  kilometres  {2\ 
miles)  from  the  fortress. 

There  was  thus  a  gap  on  the  east  through  which  the  French 
army,  even  if  in  disorder,  might  reach  the  Belgian  frontier.  They 
accepted  battle,  however,  and  that  opening  was  practically  closed 
for  the  first  time  in  the  com'se  of  the  afternoon  of  the  1st  Sep- 
tember, at  Illy,  by  the  guard  and  the  Vth  corps. 

On  the  morning  of  the  1st  September  the  fight  began  with  a 
general  advance  of  the  German  corps  towards  the  French  position. 
His  Majesty  the  Emperor  and  King  halted  on  the  hill  at  Frenois. 
In  what  follows  we  will  only  mention  the  critical  events  of  this 
day  of  hard  fighting  in  the  order  in  which  they  occm-red. 

The  fight  began  at  4  o'clock  in  the  morning,  at  Bazeilles. 
This  place  was  taken  after  several  sanguinary  attacks,  and  the 
enemy  was  driven  back  beyond  Balan  by  the  1st  Bavarian  corps 
and  Walther's  division  of  the  Ilnd  Bavarian  corps.  The  Emperor 
Napoleon  was  present,  close  to  the  fight  round  Bazeilles. 

From  half-past  6  till  half-past  9  o'clock  the  fight  was 
pivoted  on  the  position  of  La  Moncelle-Daigny.  The  Xllth  corps 
with  its  23rd  division  took  Moncelle  ;  about  12  o'clock  Daig-ny 
fell  into  the  hands  of  the  same  corps  aided  by  the  2nd  ouard 
division.  The  23rd  division  pm-sued  the  advantage  they  had 
gained  and  the  guards  got  round  the  flank  of  the  enemy  at  Illy. 
All  the  batteries  went  up  the  captured  heights,  and  nearly  100 
guns  were  in  action  on  the  right  wing.  As  already  mentioned,  the 
connection  of  the  guard  corps  with  the  Vth  corps  at  Illy  was 
completed  about  3  o'clock. 

On  the  left  wing  of  the  combined  German  armies  the  Xlth 
corps  took  Monges  and  thrust  back  the  enemy  on  to  his  strong- 
position  between  Floing  and  Illy.  Here  they  came  under  a 
reverse  fire  from  the  Bavarian  batteries  which  were  posted  on  the 
left  bank  of  the  Meuse,  north  and  north-east  of  Frenois. 

The  corps-artillery  of  the  Xlth  and  Vth  corps  came  into  action 
most  effectively  at  Fleigneux.  The  Xlth  corps  and  the  19th  in- 
fantry brigade  took  Floing  about  1  o'clock  in  the  afternoon.  The 
enemy  made  some  vigorous,  but  unavailing,  attacks  with  his 

About  3  o'clock  the  enemy  was  in  full  retreat  from  different 
sides  on  Sedan,  after  Illy  had  been  captured  and  he  had  lost  the 
Bois  de  la  Garenne. 

F  2 


During  the  fight  nearly  25,000  prisoners  were  made,  partly  by  the 
IVth  army,  partly  by  the  Bavarian  troops,  the  Xlth,  and  the  Vth 
corps ;  and  25  guns,  7  mitrailleiurs,  2  flags,  and  1  eagle  were 

On  the  French  side  Marshal  MacMahon  was  wounded  at  the 
beginning  of  the  battle,  and,  in  the  course  of  the  action,  on  the 
German  side,  Greneral  von  GTersdorf,  commanding  temporarily  the 
Xlth  army  corps,  was  also  wounded.  At  first  Greneral  Ducrot 
became  Commander-in-Chief  of  the  French  Army ;  but  subse- 
quently, in  conseouence  of  an  order  from  the  Ministry,  Greneral 
Wimpffen,  being  senior  in  the  service,  took  the  command.  The 
former,  acting  on  instructions  received  from  the  Marshal,  made 
arrangements  for  a  retreat  on  Mezieres,  but  the  latter  cancelled 
the  orders.  It  was,  in  fact,  plain  from  the  movements  of  the 
French  during  the  fight  that  they  first  intended  to  break  through 
to  the  west  and  then  to  the  eastward.  Round  Sedan  there  were  at 
the  last  400  to  500  German  guns  in  action.  The  fortress  itself  was 
only  shelled  by  some  Bavarian  batteries  during  the  later  hours  of 
the  afternoon,  and  a  forage  store  was  set  on  fire.  The  Emperor 
Napoleon  was  taken  prisoner ;  and  the  French  army,  completely 
shut  in  by  a  force  of  twice  their  strength,  unable  to  break  through 
or  to  jDrolong  their  resistance,  after  a  council  of  war  had  been  held 
under  the  presidency  of  General  Wimpffen,  were  compelled  to 
surrender.  The  negotiations  were  carried  on  in  the  chateau  of 
Bellevue  at  Frenois  and  concluded  at  midday  on  the  2nd  September. 

Besides  the  prisoners  made  on  the  previous  day,  there  fell  thus 
into  the  hands  of  the  victors  83,000  men,  14,000  French  wounded, 
400  field  guns,  including  70  mitrailleurs,  many  horses,  and  military 
stores,  besides  the  fortress  of  Sedan  with  184  garrison  guns. 

As  a  proof  of  the  communication  that  existed  between  the 
generals  of  the  French  armies  at  Sedan  and  at  Metz,  we  may  here 
add,  for  the  sake  of  completeness,  that  on  the  31st  August  and  the 
1  st  September  a  severe  action  took  place  at  the  latter  fortress  also, 
Bazaine's  army  attempting  to  force  its  way  out. 

As  the  Convention  of  Sedan  was  taken  as  a  model  on  several 
other  similar  occasions  in  the  course  of  the  campaign,  its  text  is 
here  given  : — 

"  Between  the  undersigned,  the  Chief  of  the  General  Staff  of 
King  William  of  Prussia,  Commander-in-Chief  of  the  German 
armies,  and  the  General-in-Chief  of  the  French  armies,  both  pro- 
vided with  full  powers  from  their  Majesties  King  William  and  the 
Emperor  Napoleon,  the  following  convention  has  been  concluded : 

"Art.  1.  The  French  army,  under  the  command  of  General 
Wimpffen,  being  now  surrounded  by  superior  forces  at  Sedan,  give 
themselves  up  as  prisoners  of  war.    • 

"  Art.  2.  In  consideration  of  the  courageous  defence  made  by 
this  French  army,  all  the  generals,  officers,  and  officials  ranking 
with  officers  are  to  receive  their  freedom  as  soon  as  they  shall  have 
given  their  words  of  honour  in  writing  not  to  take  up  arms  again 
during  the  present  war,  nor  to  act  in  any  way  contrary  to  the  in- 
terests of  Germany.     The  officers  and  officials  who  accept  these 


conditions  are  to  retain  tlieir  arms  and  the  personal  property  belong- 
ing to  them. 

"  Art.  3.  All  arms  and  warlike  stores,  consisting  of  flags,  eagles, 
guns,  ammunition,  &c.  will  be  given  over  in  Sedan  to  a  military 
commission  appointed  by  the  French  General,  who  will  hand  them 
over  forthwith  to  a  German  commission. 

"  Art.  4.  The  fortress  of  Sedan  will  be  placed  at  the  disposal  of 
his  Majesty  the  King  of  Prussia,  in  its  present  condition,  by  the 
2nd  September  at  the  latest. 

"  Art.  5.  The  officers  who  do  not  enter  into  the  engagement 
mentioned  in  the  2nd  article,  as  well  as  the  troops,  will  be  surren- 
dered, without  their  arms,  and  drawn  up  by  regiments  and  corps 
in  military  order.  This  proceeding  will  commence  on  the  2nd 
September  and  be  ended  on  the  3rd.  These  bodies  of  troops  will 
be  marched  on  to  the  ground  wliich  is  bounded  by  the  Meuse  at 
Iges,  in  order  to  be  given  over  to  the  German  commissioners  by 
the  officers,  who  will  then  hand  over  their  command  to  the  non- 
commissioned officers.  The  staff-surgeons  shall,  without  exception, 
remain  behind  to  attend  the  wounded.  Given  at  Fresnois  on  the 
2nd  September  1870. 

"Von  Moltke. 

"  Geaf  Wimpffen." 



(plate  XI.) 

Metz  has  50,000  inhabitants,  and  is  one  of  the  strongest  fort- 
resses of  Europe,  and,  as  a  fortification,  much  more  considerable 
than  Paris.  It  has,  during  centuries  past,  been  often  besieged,  but 
never  taken. 

The  fortress  is  situated  on  both  sides  of  the  Moselle,  which 
forms  on  the  south  the  islands  of  St.  Symphorien  and  Saidey,  and  on 
the  north  the  island  of  Chambiere.  The  river  is  navigable  at 
Metz,  is  200  to  250  paces  wide  above  the  fortress,  but  only  100  to 
180  paces  below  it,  and  is  4  feet  deep;  but  often,  after  heavy 
storms  of  rain,  or  when  the  snow  is  thawing,  becomes  as  much  as 
8  or  10  feet.  The  principal  part  of  the  town  lies  on  the  right  bank 
of  the  Moselle,  and  is  enclosed  by  a  girdle  of  fortifications.  The  lines 
commence  at  the  island  of  Sauley,  cross  from  the  left  to  the  right 
bank  of  the  river,  and  continue  on  that  side  until  they  reach  the 
island  of  Chambiere.  Here  there  are  two  advanced  works,  the 
lunettes  Chambiere  and  Miollis,  whose  fire  is  directed  upon  the  two 
arms  of  the  river.  Between  the  Sauley  defences  and  the  Chambiere 
lunette,  on  the  left  bank  of  the  Moselle,  lies  the  large  fort  La 
Moselle,  consisting  of  two  whole  and  two  half  bastions.  This 
work  commands  the  roads  to  Thionville  and  Verdun  (Paris)  as 
well  as  the  railway  from  Thionville  to  Metz,  for  which  the  tem- 
porary railway  station  (Devaut  les  ponts)  is  situated  close  to  the 
foot  of  the  glacis. 

The  connected  lines  of  the  place  turn  to  the  east  on  the  island 
of  Chambiere,*and  form  the  eastern  and  southern  defences  of  the 
town,  consisting  of  eleven  irregular  bastioned  fronts,  with  ravelins 
outside.  The  ditches  are  partly  dry  and  partly  wet,  but  in  time 
of  war  can  all  be  placed  under  water.  Tliis  is  effected  by  sluices 
connected  with  the  small  right  arm  of  the  Moselle.  The 
enceinte  of  the  city  is  covered  by  several  advanced  works  close 
in  front.  Among  these  are,  on  the  south,  the  citadel,  consist- 
ing of  a  crown-work  with  a  ravelin,  and  the  advanced  lunettes 
d'Arpon  and  Eogniat.  These  command  the  island  of  St.  Sym- 
phorien and  the  ground  to  the  south,  with  the  railway  works,  as 
well  as  the  road  to  Nancy.  The  redoubt  du  Pate  lies  to  the 
east  of  the  citadel  to  command  the  low  ground  of  the  Seylle, 
which  can  be  made  use  of  for  an   extensive  inundation.      The 

_^  *Juru 


iboc    Seo 

\  illllliil 


O         /gpo      2cpo      3<^oo      ^OQ     Sopt^    Sooolui, 

•    •   •  •   •  mPriL'fsiaji  Unt'of  mve.sfffurif 

I  f  L  tJte  c7i  d  of  All  (^f/sf 


stream  flows  between  this  redoubt  and  the  advanced  work,  Fort 
Gisors,  into  the  town.  The  latter  fort. commands  the  road  to  Stras- 
burg  and  the  valley  of  the  Chenau  rivulet,  which  also  can  be 
tm'ned  to  account  to  flood  the  hollow  ground. 

On  the  north-east  of  the  town,  between  the  roads  leading  to 
Saarlouis  and  Bouzonville,  and  guarding  those  roads,  lies  the  great 
Fort  Bellecroix,  consisting  of  three  bastioned  fronts,  with  ravelins. 
The  left  demi-bastion  and  the  adjoining  bastion  flank  also  the 
island  of  Chambiere,  and  the  left  bank  of  the  Moselle  in  the  direc- 
tion of  St.  Eloy. 

In  front  of  these  inner  works,  which  serve  for  the  immediate 
defence  of  the  town,  at  a  distance  of  3,000  to  5,000  paces 
from  the  enceinte,  are  a  number  of  detached  forts,  pushed 
forward  on  the  surrounding  heights  and  points  of  defensive  im- 
portance. These  guard  most  effectively,  and  at  greater  distances 
from  the  place,  the  roads  leading  to  Metz.  The  traces  of  these 
works  are  exceedingly  well  laid  out,  and  they  have  strong  profiles, 
and  the  forts  possess,  therefore,  almost  without  exception,  great 
capabilities  of  defence.  Their  development  of  front  is  considerable. 
Some  of  their  garrisons  amount  to  3,000  men,  and  the  armaments 
in  some  of  them  to  upwards  of  100  guns.  These  detached  forts 
are  as  follows :  Fort  St.  Julien,  on  the  north-east  of  the  town,  on 
a  height  about  770  feet  above  the  Moselle,  to  command  the  valley 
of  the  lower  Moselle  and  the  road  leading  to  Bouzonville ;  Fort 
Queleu,  at  an  elevation  of  693  feet,  between  the  road  to  Stras- 
bm-g  and  the  Seylle ;  Fort  St.  Quentin  and  Fort  Plappeville,  the 
latter  named  also  Des  Carrieres,  covering  Fort  Moselle,  and  firing 
over  an  elevated  plateau  1,000  feet  high,  across  which  passes  the 
road  to  Verdun  and  Paris. 

Between  these  four  older  forts  a  number  of  additional  detached 
works  have  been  inserted  more  recentl}^,  jsarticularly  since  the 
Luxemburg  affair  in  1867,  namely.  Forts  Embarcadere  and  St. 
Privat  on  the  -south,  Les  Bottes  on  the  east  of  the  fortress,  on  the 
road  to  Saarlouis,  St.  Eloy,  between  the  Moselle  and  the  road  to 
Thionville,  and  two  smaller  works  north  of  Fort  St.  Julien,  on  the 
road  to  Bouzonville. 

All  the  forts,  though  their  construction  was  not  quite  com- 
pleted, were  connected  by  lines  of  telegraph  with  the  main  work, 
and  to  some  extent  with  one  another. 

In  the  protection  afforded  by  these  detached  forts  lies  the 
real  strength  of  Metz,  for  they  render  it  difficult  completely  to 
surround  the  fortress,  and,  owing  to  the  great  circumference  of  the 
works,  make  it  necessary  to  employ  a  very  large  investing  force. 
They  secure  the  main  work  from  bombardment,  and  the  attack 
upon  the  enceinte  cannot  even  be  commenced  until  one  or  more 
of  them  have  fallen.  Finally,  they  give  the  main  work  the 
character  of  an  entrenched  camp,  and  allow  of  the  concentration 
under  their  shelter  of  vast  masses  of  troops  and  of  rapid  offensive 

Metz  possesses  enormous  military  stores  of  every  description,  and 
was  most  amply  provided  with  powder  and  with  guns.     As  regards 


military  establishments,  it  contains  a  military  clothing  factory,  a 
depot  for  the  equipment  of  cavalry,  a  laboratory-school,  a  school 
of  fortification,  and  a  powder  factory.  The  manufactm'e  of  powder 
is  a  monopoly  in  France.  The  arsenal  for  the  engineers,  almost 
the  only  one  in  France,  and  two  arsenals  for  the  artillery,  are 
situated  in  the  Gruisen  entrenchment,  which  adjoins  the  citadel. 
These  depots  contained  arms  and  equipment  complete  for  an  army 
of  150,000  men. 

The  barracks  of  the  engineers,  the  only  ones  in  the  fortress 
that  are  bombproof,  are  on  the  Konigsplatz,  those  of  the  artillery 
at  the  Chambiere  gate,  and  those  of  the  infantry  in  Fort  Moselle, 
where  also  is  situated  the  hospital  prepared  for  the  reception  of 
1,900  men. 

The  drinking-water  in  Metz  is  bad,  and  tends  to  produce  fevers; 
during  the  last  few  years,  therefore,  an  underground  conduit  has 
been  made,  which  draws  its  supply  from  Gorze,  two  miles  (9*4 
English  mile?)  to  the  west  of  the  fortress,  and  brings  daily  to  the 
place  10,000  cubic  metres  of  wholesome  water.  Another,  but  a 
secondary  conduit,  brings  water  to  the  place  from  a  collecting 
reservoir  near  Gravelotte. 

Metz  was  orignally  a  German  city.  Under  the  secret  influence 
of  the  priests,  as  at  Strasburg,  it  was  transferred  by  treachery  into 
the  hands  of  France,  whose  King,  Henry  II.,  in  the  year  1552,  caused 
the  city  and  fortress  to  be  occupied  by  the  Constable  Montmorency. 
A  fruitless  siege  was  undertaken  by  the  Emperor  Charles  V.,  and  con- 
ducted by  the  Duke  of  Alva  for  a  period  of  sixty-five  days,  against 
the  fortress,  which  was  even  then  of  great  strength.  The  place 
was  first  formally  handed  over  to  France  by  the  Treaty  of  West- 
phalia in  1648. 

Notwithstanding  tlie  great  strategical  importance  of  Metz  in  a 
war  with  Germany,  and  in  spite  of  its  important  position  on  the 
actual  theatre  of  war,  the  fortress  was  at  the  outbreak  of  the  cam- 
paign in  an  unprepared  condition.  Serious  preparations  for  a  siege, 
as  regards  both  the  fortifications  and  the  artillery  were  first  under- 
taken after  the  battle  of  Forbach,  and  for  this  purpose  nearly 
15,000  peasants  were  summoned  from  the  country  to  the  fortress, 
who  later  on  were  unable  to  get  out  again,  and  consequently  had 
to  be  subsisted. 

Under  these  circumstances  it  would  not  have  been  absolutely 
impossible  for  the  Prussians,  at  the  expense,  perhaps,  of  heavy 
losses,  to  have  established  themselves  in  Fort  Bellecroix,  after  the 
battle  of  the  14th  August.  It  is  another  question  whether  it 
would  have  been  possible  to  hold  this  position,  situated  immediately 
in  front  of  the  main  work,  when  the  French,  after  three  days  disorder 
of  their  closely  massed  forces,  had  fallen  back  upon  the  fortress, 
some  160,000  strong,  on  the  night  of  the  18th-19th  August. 
The  consequences  of  the  battles  of  the  14th,  16th,  and  18th  of 
August  w^ere  not  known  until  after  the  capitulation  of  Metz,  on 
the  27th  October.  In  the  French  army,  which  had  been  beaten 
four  times  in  succession,  discipline  was  relaxed,  the  power  of 
taking  the  offensive,  always  considered  a  special  attribute  of  the 

French,  was  wanting,  and  the  army  required,  before  everything,  a 
thorough  re-organisation.  This  was  a  circumstance  that  stood  us 
in  good  stead,  and  prevented  tlie  French  from  making  use  of  the 
advantages  offered  to  them  by  the  strength  of  the  fortress. 

After  the  investment  of  the  fortress  by  the  1st  and  Ilnd  armies 
the  preparation  of  the  fortifications  and  the  armaments  for  the  de- 
fence were  continued.  The  works  in  progress  were  in  great  measure 
masked  from  the  investing  force,  owing  to  the  extent  of  tlie  circle 
round  which  the  French  tield-army  was  posted.  The  gan-ison  and 
the  national  guards,  together  amounting  to  30,000  men,  were  in  the 
fortress  during  the  investment. 

Fort  Plappeville,  as  well  as  all  the  other  detached  forts,  was 
strengthened  by  the  construction  of  traverses,  expense  magazines, 
and  stockades,  and  brought  into  communication  with  tlie  adjoining 
Fort  St.  Quentin  by  a  covered  road.  This  road  was  flanked  by  a 
lunette  placed  in  the  centre.  The  chief  object  was  to  complete  as 
speedily  as  possible  the  works  in  course  of  construction,  and  to  put 
the  place  in  a  defensible  condition  by  completing  the  parapets  and 
the  gorges  of  the  works,  by  constructing  temporary  bombproofs, 
and  by  clearing  the  zone  of  fire.  In  the  main  work  only  were  the 
preparations  complete  for  resisting  a  sudden  attack,  the  gates  and 
bridges  properly  guarded,  the  flank  defences  put  in  a  condition  to 
sweep  the  ditches  effectively,  the  ramparts  prepared  for  defence  by 
infantry  and  artillery,  and  the  glacis  cleared.  The  field  army 
outside  the  fortress  had  in  their  possession  about  25  or  30  farms 
and  villages.  They  secured  themselves  in  these  by  barricading  the 
entrances  and  provided  for  eventually  placing  the  outposts  in 
security  by  shelter-trenches  and  rifle  pits.  The  outlying  pickets 
lay  for  the  most  part  in  shelter-trenches  covered  from  the  view  of 
the  enemy  outside.  Ground  that  afforded  natural  or  artificial 
cover  was  arranged  for  defence,  as,  for  example,  the  railway  em- 
bankment at  Montigny  on  the  south  of  the  fortress,  and  the  park 
and  chateau  of  Ladonchamp  on  the  north.  Communications  were 
stopped  up,  where  necessary,  by  abattis ;  new  routes  for  troops 
were  made  throvigh  the  copses,  and  pontoon  bridges  as,  for 
instance,  at  Moulins,  were  thrown  across  the  Moselle  to  connect 
the  two  sides  of  the  river.  As  sorties  might  have  to  be  made  on 
a  large  scale,  the  number  of  communications  over  the  river  was 
increased,  and  for  this  purpose  some  bridge-trains,  that  had  oppor- 
tunely come  within  the  limits  of  the  fortress  in  the  general  retreat 
of  the  Army,  afforded  the  means. 

As  the  hills  around  the  fortress  were  occupied  by  the  forts,  and 
afforded  excellent  sites  from  which  to  observe  the  Prussian  position, 
special  observatories  were  not  erected.  The  highest  traverses  in 
the  works  were  used  for  this  purpose. 

Lodging  of  the  troops. — While  the  field  army  was  accommodated 
in  camps  and  in  the  strongly  occupied  farms  and  villages  that  lay 
around,  the  barracks  were  occupied  by  the  war  garrison  in  Metz 
and  in  the  forts  in  the  manner  customary  in  time  of  war.  But 
even  with  great  crowding  the  total  accommodation  available  in 
them  was  insufficient,  and  it  was  necessary  to  convert  to  this  use 


the  magnificent  cathedral  of  St.  Stephan,  celebrated  for  its  fine 
stained  glass  and  its  tower  350  feet  high,  and  the  churches  of  St. 
Eucaire  and  St.  Segolene.  The  most  important  camps  were  on 
the  north-east  slope  of  Mount  St.  Quentin,  south  of  the  fortress 
near  Fort  Embarcadere  and  St.  Queleu,  and  north-east  of  Metz, 
between  Forts  St.  Julieu  and  Les  Bottes.  The  ground  used  for 
these  camps  was,  however,  hilly,  and  as  it  was  the  wet  season,  this 
caused  the  water  to  accumulate  and  made  swamps  of  the  camping- 
grounds,  thus  rendering  the  sleeping-places  unhealthy. 

All  authorities  agree  that  the  fortress  was  amply  provisioned 
for  its  own  war  garrison  of  30,000  men  for  three  months,  and 
received  further  supplies  from  a  number  of  provision  trains,  that 
were  originally  destined  for  the  French  army  that  marched  out 
to  the  west  of  Metz,  but,  after  the  first  battles  on  the  German 
frontier,  were  stopped  on  their  road  and  retained  in  the  fortress. 
From  Paris,  particularly  at  this  time,  immense  convoys  arrived, 
for  the  fortress  was  intended  to  form  the  base  of  operations  for  the 
army  on  the  Ehiue.  The  position  of  affairs  was  changed  after  the 
battles  round  Metz,  when  the  fortress  was  blockaded  and  all 
communication  with  the  outside  was  cut  off.  Tlie  great  masses  of 
cavalry  enclosed  in  the  blockade,  having  a  strength  of  some  24,000 
horses,  must  have  suffered  most.  Their  evil  plight  first  became 
apparent  in  the  early  part  of  September.  Subsequently,  lean 
horses  were  driven  beyond  the  outposts,  and  the  slaughter  of  the 
better  ones  began  about  this  time.  The  rations  for  the  men  became 
scarcer  by  degrees^  and  by  the  end  of  August  engagements  of  the 
outposts  took  place  with  the  object  of  obtaining  all  the  provisions 
out  of  the  villages  and  digging  up  potatoes  in  the  country  round. 
In  Nouilly,  three-quarters  of  a  mile  (3^  miles  English)  eastward 
from  Metz,  large  stores  of  provisions  intended  for  the  French  were 
discovered  by  the  Prussians.  The  French,  it  is  true,  kept  up  for  a 
long  time  their  communication  Avith  the  country,  which  ended, 
when  discovered  by  the  Prussians,  in  the  destruction  of  the  villages 
concerned.  Thus  the  Prussians  burnt  the  village  of  Peltre,  and 
blew  up  with  dynamite  a  farm  there  called  Le  Grrange  aux  Bois 
because  it  was  evidently  useful  to  the  French  in  their  foraging 
expeditions.  The  beef  was  generally  reserved  for  the  hospitals. 
The  water  for  drinking  in  Metz  had  to  be  filtered  after  the  des- 
truction of  the  conduit  near  Gorze,  in  order  to  render  it  at  all 
drinkable ;  but,  on  the  other  hand,  the  wine  was  not  all  gone,  and 
there  was  some  left  up  to  the  time  of  the  sm'render. 

In  the  second  half  of  September  the  soldiers  received  half 
rations  of  horseflesh.  The  want  of  salt,  however,  prevented  the 
meat  from  being  pickled  in  the  regular  manner,  and  preserved  in 
this  way  it  did  not  answer  their  expectations  because  they  had 
neglected  to  slaughter  the  horses '  at  the  right  time  for  this  pur- 
pose. There  was  great  scarcity  of  straw  for  bedding,  the  supply 
being  barely  sufficient  for  the  sick  and  wounded. 

In  the  beginning  of  October,  for  want  of  forage,  the  field  bat- 
teries were  reduced  from  6  to  4  guns,  and  a  kind  of  influenza 
carried  off  many  horses,  who  fell  victims  to  disease,  partly  owing 


to  the  length  of  time  they  were  in  bivouac  in  very  bad  weather 
and  to  want  of  care,  and  partly  owing  to  change  of  diet,  as  they 
had  barley  and  corn  in  their  food.  The  rinderpest  coming  on 
carried  off  all  that  were  left  of  the  cattle. 

The  distress  became  worse  as  the  investment  was  prolonged. 
At  first  400,  then  300  grammes  (about  three-fifths  of  a  pound)  of 
horseflesh  and  bread  were  served  out  to  each  man  as  his  daily 
ration.*  The  field  army  was,  in  this  respect,  much  worse  off  than 
tlie  garrison  of  the  fortress,  of  whom  none  during  the  investment 
suffered  actual  hunger.  At  the  end  of  October,  the  commandant 
established  a  system  of  rations  for  the  inhabitants,  and  fixed  the 
price  of  provisions  for  them,  and  they  shared  the  sufferings  of  the 
garrison  with  a  praiseworthy  spirit  and  endurance.  At  this  time 
in  Metz  butter  was  14  francs  the  pound,  meat  and  bacon  8  francs 
the  pound,  potatoes  20  sous,  horseflesh  20  sous,  an  egg  15  sous,  a 
schoppen  (pint)  of  milk  14  sous,  and  lastly  a  pound  of  salt  20 
francs.  The  fourteen  corn  mills  in  Metz  remained  at  work  to 
within  two  days  of  the  capitulation.  It  may  be  assumed  that 
during  the  investment  nearly  20,000  horses  were  slaughtered. 

Hospitals. — Owing  to  the  great  numbers  of  sick  and  wounded, 
which  daily  increased  during  the  investment,  and  at  the  capitula- 
tion amounted  to  20,000  men,  the  energies  of  the  medical  branch 
were  taxed  to  the  uttermost ;  and,  particularly,  a  great  want  of 
hospital  attendants  was  experienced.  The  military  hospital  for 
1,900  sick  soon  proved  insufficient,  and,  as  early  as  the  beginning 
of  September,  it  became  necessary  also  to  quarter  the  sick  and 
wounded  in  the  barracks  of  the  engineers,  the  artillery  barracks 
at  the  Chambieres  gate,  the  civil  hospitals,  the  churches  of  St. 
Martin,  St.  Maximin,  and  St.  Vincent,  and  in  many  private 
houses.  In  front  of  the  Palais  de  Justice,  close  to  the  Porte 
Serpenoise,  336  tents  were  pitched  for  the  sick ;  and,  on  the 
parade  near  the  artillery  barracks,  there  were  collected  288  railway 
goods  wagons,  in  which  3,500  sick  were  lodged.  In  particular,  diar- 
rhoea, dysentery,  typhus,  and  scurvy  made  their  appearance,  the  last 
in  consequence  of  not  having  salt,  and  owing  to  the  want  of  variety 
in  the  diet ;  but,  it  should  be  observed  that  the  dreaded  and  dan- 
gerous miasma  from  the  neighbouring  battle-fields  and  the  num- 
bers of  unburied  carcases  of  horses  turned  out  to  have  less  effect 
on  health  than  was  naturally  anticiiDated ;  a  blessing  for  which 
apparently  thanks  were  due  to  the  cold  weather  in  September  and 
October.  The  result  in  this  respect  was  different  witli  regard  to 
the  stagnant  inundations  of  the  Seylle  on  the  south  of  the  town. 
As  early  as  the  first  half  of  September,  Marshal  Bazaiue  requested 
Prince  Frederick  Charles  to  allow  the  sick  and  wounded  in  Metz 
to  be  sent  away  to  the  interior  of  France,  which  request  was 
naturally  refused.  A  similar  reply  was  given  to  his  request  at  the 
beginning  of  September  that  surgeons  with  medical  appliances 
might  be  sent  into  ]Metz.  The  inhabitants  of  Metz  eudeavom-ed 
to  alleviate  the  sufferings  of  the  French  sick  and  womided  soldiers 

*■  400  grammes  =  about  14  oz.  or  f  lb.  avoirdupois ;  300  grammes  =  about 
10^  oz,  or  I  lb.  avoirdupois, 


with  all  their  power,  and  the  troops  had  to  thank  the  wives  and 
daughters  of  the  inhabitants  that  it  was  found  possible  to  distri- 
bute large  stores  of  winter  clothing  to  the  army. 

Ititelllf/ence  department. — Owing  to  the  large  military  traffic 
by  rail  to  and  from  the  theatre  of  war,  the  postal  service  during 
the  first  half  of  August  got  into  the  greatest  confusion,  and  with 
the  commencement  of  the  investment  all  communication  of  the 
French  army  with  Paris,  the  neighbouring  P'rench  fortresses  and 
the  adjoining  country,  was  cut  off.  Nevertheless  various  expe- 
dients were  adopted  to  keep  up  the  communication  with  the 
government  in  Paris  and  with  the  military  headquarters  of 
France.  Carrier-pigeons  and  spies  were  made  use  of.  One  of  the 
latter,  disguised  as  a  Franciscan  monk,  fell  into  the  hands  of  the 
1st  Prussian  army  on  the  4th  August,  and  with  him  a  correspon- 
dence between  jNIarshals  Bazaine,  Palikao,  Trochu,  and  MacMahon. 
The  French  tried  to  send  news  on  wood-floats,  and  concealed  in 
pigs'  bladders,  down  the  Moselle  toThionville.  Many  gas-balloons 
were  sent  up,  of  which  one  came  into  the  hands  of  the  Prussians 
in  the  neighbourhood  of  Paoully,  2  miles  (9^  English  miles) 
north-east  of  Metz.  By  this  means,  however,  no  serviceable 
intelligence  of  a  trustworthy  character  was  obtained  of  the  French 
army.  Generally,  this  post  was  sent  up  at  night,  so  as  the  better 
and  more  securely  to  cross  the  investing  lines  of  the  Prussians. 

The  works  of  fortification  of  the  blockading  army  had  for  their 
object  to  prevent  surprise  by  an  advance  of  the  enemy  in  force, 
and  to  detain  them  long  enough  to  permit  of  the  troops  being- 
concentrated  in  sufficient  numbers.  The  French  had  the  advan- 
tage that  they  could  choose  what  point  they  liked  in  the  circle  of 
investment,  and  there  make  a  sortie.  The  Prussians,  on  the  other 
hand,  besides  being  fewer  in  number,  were  at  a  disadvantage  in 
having  to  be  ready  to  receive  an  attack  from  the  French  through- 
out the  whole  circle  of  the  investment.  It  became  necessary, 
therefore,  that  the  Prussians  should  be  able  to  concentrate  on  any 
point  in  the  shortest  possible  time.  For  this  purpose  bridges 
were  thrown  over  the  Moselle  above  and  below  the  fortress,  for 
instance,  at  Argency,  Hauconcourt,  and  several  other  places  ;  roads 
for  troops  were  traced  or  cut,  and  all  the  special  arrangements 
suitable  for  the  attainment  of  this  object  were  made.  After  the 
battles  of  the  16th  and  18th  August,  notwithstanding  that  move- 
ments to  the  rear  had  again  become  necessary  in  some  cases,  the 
complete  investment  of  the  positions  held  by  the  enemy  was  ac- 
complished ]-apidly  and  with  the  accustomed  precision.  The  head- 
quarters of  the  army  corps  were  placed  in  communication  with  one 
another,  and  with  the  headquarters  of  the  army  by  means  of  lines 
of  field  telegraph,  and  the  technical  troops  charged  with  this  duty 
had  thus  a  very  wide  field  of  activity,  and  one  that  was  intimately 
associated  with  the  military  operations.  The  existing  French 
telegraph  lines  and  railways  leading  to  Thionville  and  Paris  and 
to  Strasburg  were  destroyed,  and  their  materials  were  used  for  the 
purposes  of  the  investment.  The  intercourse  with  the  fortress  by 
means  of  a  flag  of  truce  was  reduced  to  a  minimum  after  the 


French,  contrary  to  every  custom  of  war,  had  fired  upon  some  of 
the  bearers.  This  happened  on  the  19th  August  to  Lieutenant- 
Colonel  von  Verdy  and  Captain  von  Winterfeld,  on  the  24th 
August  to  First  Lieutenant  von  Kurowsky,  and  on  the  1  st  October 
to  Lieutenants  von  Roder  and  Manegold. 

Observatories  were  set  up  on  the  highest  points  of  the  ground, 
and  two  artillery  officers  provided  with  good  telescopes  did  duty  in 
each.  Each  army  corps  had  its  own ;  such  was,  for  instance,  that 
on  the  hill  of  Le  Horimont,  south  of  the  village  of  Feves,  If 
miles  (8*2  miles  English)  north-west  of  Metz,  whence  a  complete 
view  was  obtained  over  the  broad  plain  of  the  valley  to  the  north 
of  the  fortress  and  the  French  bivouacs  there,  and  which  was  of 
eminent  service. 

As  it  was  expected  that  the  blockaded  army  of  the  French  in- 
tended to  break  out  in  a  northerly  direction  towards  Thionville, 
the  main  point  was  to  watch  the  fortress,  and  therefore  its  invest- 
ment was  completed  before  any  idea  was  entertained  of  following^ 
up  this  operation  immediately  with  a  bombardment. 

As  long  as  the  French  held  Metz,  the  railway  communication 
by  the  lines  Saarbruck  to  Metz  and  Nancy  on  the  one  hand,  and  Metz 
to  Thionville  on  the  other,  was  interrupted.  The  construction  was, 
therefore,  commenced  of  a  railway  from  Eemilly  to  Pont-a- 
Mousson,  so  as  to  work  round  the  railway  junction  at  Metz. 
Accordingly  on  the  9th  August  Captain  Oolz  of  the  general  staff 
received  orders,  in  conjunction  with  field  railway  detachments  No. 
1,  under  Commissioner  Dircksen,  and  No.  4,  under  Superintending 
Engineer  Menne,  to  restore  the  communication  with  Saarbruck 
out  of  the  partly  destroyed  line  from  Saarbruck  to  Eemilly,  and 
next  to  construct  a  new  railroad  passing  to  the  south  of  Metz  from 
Eemilly  to  Pont-a-Mousson.  The  first  portion  of  this  order 
being  executed  by  the  13th  August,  the  preparations  for,  and  the 
setting  out  of  the  new  junction  line,  about  5  miles  (23^  miles 
English)  in  length,  were  commenced  on  the  14th.  The  actual 
completion  of  the  united  lines  took  place  on  the  23rd  Sep- 
tember, or  in  round  numbers  after  5  weeks'  work.  The  road  was 
a  single  line  with  a  formation-width  of  12  feet.  Among  the  larger 
works  were  two  viaducts  near  Eemilly,  of  which  the  largest  was 
about  350  feet  long  and  22  feet  high,  besides  two  bridges  over  the 
Moselle  and  its  affluent  the  Seylle.  All  these  works  were  made 
of  timber. 

Immediately  after  the  battle  of  Gravelotte,  on  the  18th  August, 
the  positions  of  the  outposts  on  either  side  were  not  finally 
determined.  Backward  and  forward  movements  of  the  opposing 
forces  took  place.  On  the  night  of  the  19th-20th  August  the 
French  for  the  first  time  took  up  in  force  the  positions  which  they 
held,  with  few  exceptions  apparently  unaltered,  during  the  whole 
of  the  investment.  The  length  of  the  circumference  occupied  by 
the  Prussian  outposts  was  nearly  6  miles  (28  English  miles),  and 
that  occupied  by  the  main  body,  consequently,  8  miles  (37^ 
English  miles).  Without  telegraphic  communication  the  success 
of  a  sudden  attempt  of  the  French  in  force  to  break  through  would 


not  have  been  improbable  under  the  circumstances  above  men- 

The  troops  were  at  first  quartered  in  open  bivouacs  and  in  huts 
of  brushwood ;  but,  by  the  middle  of  September,  they  were,  as  far  as 
practicable,  lodged  in  conveniently  situated  close  cantonments. 
For  the  outposts  and  pickets  weather-screens  and  huts  of  brush- 
wood and  other  materials  were  erected,  and  houses  and  stables 
conveniently  situated  were  also  made  use  of;  but,  in  spite  of  all,  the 
troops  suffered  terribly  from  the  inclemency  of  the  weather.  As 
Grorze  lay  within  the  lines  of  investment,  the  waterworks  there 
could  not  remain  unnoticed  or  concealed.  By  the  end  of  August 
they  were  destroyed. 

The  arrangements  for  defence  which  were  undertaken  on  the 
part  of  the  besiegers  consisted  in  the  formation  of  the  gTound  in 
various  ways  so  as  to  adapt  it  to  the  tactical  conditions  mentioned 
in  the  beginning  of  this  section.  The  limits  of  this  book  would 
be  far  exceeded  if  we  were  to  enter  upon  the  details.  Some 
general  observations  will  suffice. 

Outposts  and  pickets  lay  in  shelter-trenches,  or  in  hollows  in 
the  ground  provided  with  banquettes  for  this  purpose,  according 
as  hollow  roads,  gravel-pits,  loam-pits,  or  the  ditches  of  high 
roads  presented  themselves.  By  a  singular  accident,  the  shelter- 
trenches  which  were  constructed  by  the  enemy,  on  their  retreat 
during  the  battle  of  Grravelotte  towards  evening  on  the  18th 
August,  were  used  for  a  long  time  by  the  Prussian  outposts.  The 
French  are  very  ready  at  making  such  trenches  in  a  short  time. 
A  similar  thing  happened  with  regard  to  a  battery  between  St. 
Privat  and  Amanvillers,  which  on  the  same  day  had  been  of  great 
service  to  the  French,  but  was  now  turned  towards  the  fortress. 
In  front  of  all  was  formed  a  sort  of  line  of  obstructions. 

The  Prussian  outposts  were  partly  armed  with  chassepot  rifles, 
on  account  of  their  great  range.  Eoutes  for  columns  of  troops 
were  made  where  necessary,  roads  were  improved,  and  the  edges  of 
woods  were  obstructed  by  abattis  and  rendered  impassable.  Farms 
situated  in  important  places,  especially  those  from  which  fire  could 
be  directed  on  the  roads  by  which  the  enemy  would  advance,  as  at 
Orly,  Tournebide,  Frescati — both  the  latter  on  the  south  of  the 
fortress — were  prepared  for  defence  ;  that  is  to  say,  loopholes  were 
cut  in  the  masonry,  the  entrances  were  barricaded,  and  they  were 
made  secure  with  palisades.  Favourable  situations  for  artillery 
were  made  use  of  for  the  erection  of  the  larger  batteries,  or  were 
prepared  by  excavation  for  the  reception  of  the  guns,  as  it  was 
confidently  anticipated  that  their  practice  would  be  fatal  to  the 
enemy's  operations,  especially  by  checking  the  advance  of  his 
attacking  columns.  Such  batteries  were  situated,  among  other 
places,  on  the  heights  at  Chieulles,  Vany,  Failly,  and  Servigny,  to 
the  north-east  of  the  fortress,  where,  in  spite  of  the  ground  being 
much  broken,  a  good  and  wide  view  of  the  scene  of  action  was 
obtained,  and  also  at  Saulny,  Nocroy,  Bellevue,  Feves,  Semecourt, 
and  elsewhere.  All  the  defiles  which  could  be  possibly  used  by 
the  French  for  breaking  out  were,  in  the  course  of  time,  fortified 


as  formidably  as  circumstances  permitted  ;  and,  in  places  where  the 
enemy  was  actually  expected  to  appear,  the  besiegers  had,  more- 
over, taken  the  trouble  to  construct  independent  field  redoubts  in 
the  line  of  defence. 

The  continuance  of  bad  weather  and  the  extremely  arduous 
duty  of  the  investing  force  had  undoubtedly  at  times  a  bad  effect 
on  their  state  of  health.  Diarrhoea  and  typhus  carried  off  some 
victims,  but  these  diseases  would  have  had  very  far  more  serious 
results  and  a  wider  range  had  it  not  been  that  every  possible  care 
was  bestowed  upon  the  hospital-establishments  and  upon  the 
nursing  and  subsistence.  In  the  latter  respect  there  was  no 
failure,  and  the  continual  supplies  and  issues  of  pease-sausage,*  of 
fresh  and  of  preserved  meat,  produced  the  best  effects.  A  difficulty 
seemed  likely  to  occur  in  the  supply  of  meat  when  the  rinderpest 
broke  out  in  Lorraine  and  Alsace,  but  mutton  was  issued  instead 
of  beef,  and  steps  were  taken  to  bring  up  herds  of  cattle  from 
Belgium  and  Holland  for  the  supply  of  the  troops. 

Sorties. — Having  described  the  position  of  the  opposing 
armies  in  and  before  the  fortress  in  their  chief  features,  we  turn 
now  to  the  most  important  sorties  on  a  large  scale  which  took 
place  from  the  19th  August  to  the  28tli  October. 

The  idea  of  a  regular  siege  of  the  great  fortress  was,  with  ac- 
curate knowledge  of  the  circumstances,  renounced  from  the  very 
first.  The  large  forces  shut  in,  both  in  and  round  the  fortress, 
would  have  rendered  it  unusually  difficult  to  establish  parks,  and 
conduct  the  attacks  against  the  detached  forts,  which  were  well 
situated  and  amply  supplied  with  guns  and  stores,  and  these  forces 
might,  in  the  end,  have  produced  a  very  critical  state  of  affairs. 
It  was  determined,  therefore,  only  to  invest  Metz,  and  for  this 
duty  there  were  allotted  the  1st,  Ilnd,  Ilird,  Vllth,  Vlllth,  and 
Xth  army  corps,  the  18th  division,  the  division  of  the  Grand- 
Duchy  of  Hesse,  and  the  landwehr  reserve  division  von  Kummer. 
The  1st  army  was  thus  amalgamated  with  the  Ilnd  army,  and 
placed  under  the  sole  command  of  Prince  Frederick  Charles.  This 
army,  amounting  to  about  230,000  men,  being  thus  detained, 
however,  it  became  impossible  to  employ  them  even  partially  in 
operations  in  the  open  field  elsewhere. 

Under  these  circumstances,  after  their  terrible  exertions  in  the 
battles  of  Mars-la-Tour  and  Grravelotte,  both  friend  and  foe  re- 
quired some  days  of  rest,  in  order  that  they  might  both  settle 
themselves  down  to  the  new  condition  of  affairs.  Towards  the  end 
of  the  month,  however,  on  the  26th  August,  movements  of  troops 
were  observed  in  the  French  camps,  from  the  left  to  the  right 
bank  of  the  Moselle,  which  might  be  preparatory  to  an  attempt  to 
break  through  the  Prussian  lines.  The  enemy  confined  himself, 
however,  to  skirmishing  with  the  outposts,  as  he  found  the  Prus- 
sians ready  to  fight.  Meanwhile,  news  was  received  of  the  advance 
of  MacMahon's  army  from  Chalons  and  its  encounter  with  the 
IVth  army  at  Beaumont.      In  the  investing  lines,  therefore,  pre- 

•  Erbswurst. 


parations  were  made  for  the  expected  junction  of  Marshals  JMac- 
Mahon  and  Bazaine. 

Then  came,  on  the  31st  August  and  the  1st  September,  the 
hattle  of  Noisseville.  The  Prussian  troops  engaged  were  posted  on 
the  30th  August  as  follows : — 

1.  The  1st  landwehr  division  von  Kummer,  with  a  brigade  of 
the  line,  behind  the  line  Malroy-Charly,  the  landwehr  in  reserve. 

2.  The  1st  infantry  division — the  1st  brigade  of  infantry  in 
and  behind  the  line  Failly-Servigny,  the  2nd  brigade  of  infantry 
in  reserve. 

3.  The  2nd  infantry  division — the  4tli  brigade  of  infantry 
at  Ars-Laquenexy  with  their  front  on  the  line  Mercy-le-Haut- 
Aubigny-Colombey,  the  3rd  brigade  of  infantry  in  reserve. 

4.  The  divisional  cavalry — the  1st  and  10th  regiments  of 
dragoons  between  Noisseville  and  Colombey. 

5.  The  3rd  cavalry  division  and  the  28th  brigade  of  in- 
fantry guarding  the  ground  between  the  2nd  infantry  division 
and  the  Moselle. 

On  the  31st  August,  at  half-past  7  in  the  morning,  the  French 
had  taken  up  a  position  south  of  Fort  St.  Julien  on  the  line  Metz- 
Bellecroix.     The  following  movements  consequently  took  place. 

1.  The  3rd  brigade  of  infantry  of  the  2nd  division,  with  two 
batteries,  marched  to  the  high  road  to  Saarbruck  on  the  heights  of 

2.  The  1st  brigade  of  cavalry  of  the  3rd  cavalry  division 
marched  to  Eetonfay  to  cover  the  ground  between  the  high  roads 
to  Saarbruck  and  Saarlouis.  By  command  of  General  Steinmetz 
the  whole  of  the  cavalry  division  was  moved  to  that  place. 

3.  A  cavalry  regiment  and  a  battery  of  the  Kummer  division 
marched  to  St.  Barbe.  The  division  of  the  Grrand-Duchy  of  Hesse 
crossed  the  Moselle  to  the  support  of  the  Kummer  division.  The 
centre  stood  fast,  while  the   wings   alone  were  at   first  engaged. 

About  9  o'clock  the  French  attacked  the  Prussian  left  wing ; 
Colombey  was  lost  to  us,  but  Aubigny  and  Mercy-le-Haut  were  held. 
The  28th  brigade  of  infantry  was  brought  on  the  battle-field,  as  a 
reinforcement,  and  took  up  a  .position  at  Laquenexy  without  com- 
ing into  the  action,  which  was  fought  by  the  2nd  division  alone. 
The  former  marched  to  the  bivouac  at  Courcelles. 

The  Prussian  right  wing  was  attacked  by  a  French  cavalry 
regiment,  with  artillery,  who  were,  however,  beaten  back  by  the 
artillery  of  General  von  Kummer.  Fort  St.  Julien  opened  fire 
and  covered  the  retreat  of  the  enemy.  At  3  o'clock  in  the  after- 
noon the  enemy  commenced  a  heavy  fire  from  Fort  St.  Julien,  and 
from  several  batteries  that  were  drawn  up  there  to  the  southward, 
and  were  answered  from  seven  Prussian  field-batteries,  in  whose 
favour  the  engagement  was  decided  about  5  o'clock. 

Meantime  Leboeuf's  whole  corps  advanced  by  Nouilly  to  Noisse- 
ville ;  the  3rd  brigade  of  infantry  retired  from  the  field  after  a 
severe  engagement  round  the  village  and  the  brewery  there,  and 
fell  back  in  good  order  on  Servigny.  Batteries  of  the  enemy 
debouched  towards  evening  from  Nouilly  and  fired  on  the  Prussian 


artillery  at  Servigny.  Noisseville  was  finally  taken  by  Memerty's 
brigade,  the  whole  position  was  held,  and  the  fight  terminated 
apparently  about  9  o'clock.  Unexpectedly,  however,  the  enemy 
recommenced  the  action,  took  possession  of  Flanville,  Coincy,  and 
Noisseville,  and  captured  a  portion  of  Retonfay,  which  nevertheless 
they  had  to  give  up  again.  At  the  same  time  attacks  were  made 
upon  Servigny,  Poixe,  and  Failly.  The  battle  did  not  cease  till 
11  o'clock  in  the  evening.  In  expectation  of  its  renewal  on  the 
following  day,  the  infantry  and  cavalry  brigade  of  the  Grrand- 
Duchy  of  Hesse  and  the  corps  artillery  of  the  9th  army  corps 
were  directed  during  the  night  to  cross  the  Moselle  to  the  scene 
of  action  at  St.  Barbe.  Accordingly,  on  the  following  morning, 
the  positions  were  as  follows  :  Rummer's  landwehr  division  and 
the  1st  army  corps  on  the  field  of  battle  during  the  whole  night ; 
the  25th  and  28th  divisions  at  Antilly  and  advancing  on  Charly ; 
the  Ilird  and  Vlllth  army  corps,  as  on  the  previous  day  ;  the 
Ilnd,  Ilird,  and  Xth  army  corps  on  the  left  bank  of  the  Moselle, 
near  Montmedy,  only  li  mile  (7  English  miles)  from  Metz. 

On  the  1st  September,  at  4  in  the  morning,  the  battle  was 
renewed,  and  turned  first  upon  the  possession  of  the  thrice-captured 
Noisseville.  It  was  not  possible,  however,  in  spite  of  the  great 
bravery  of  the  troops,  to  keep  our  hold  of  it,  so  that  we  contented 
ourselves  for  the  time  with  preventing  the  enemy  from  debouching 
from  it.  As  soon  as  it  was  ascertained  that  strong  reinforcements 
were  about  to  arrive,  a  heavy  fire  of  artillery  was  commenced  from 
50  guns  against  the  place  and  Noisseville  was  taken. 

On  the  left  wing  the  village  of  Flanville  was  captured  about 
9  o'clock  in  the  morning  by  the  28th  brigade  of  infantry,  parti- 
cularly by  detachments  of  the  53rd  regiment.  The  28th  infantry 
brigade  thereupon  took  Coincy,  and  were  subsequently  emi^loyed 
to  cover  the  Saarbruck  road. 

At  the  same  time  unsuccessful  attempts  were  made  by  the 
French  on  the  right  wing  to  take  Failly  and  Rupigny.  They 
were  beaten  back  and  pursued  as  far  as  the  Bois  de  Grimont  by 
the  brigades  of  Below  and  Blankensee. 

In  the  centre  the  French  advanced  about  half-past  10  to  the 
attack  of  Poixe  and  Servigny,  but  their  movements  appeared  hesi- 
tating and  wanting  in  vigour.  The  Prussian  artillery  beat  them 
back  at  both  places.  This  failure  was  the  signal  for  the  French 
to  retire  into  their  original  positions,  while  oiu-s  were  held,  though 
with  great  losses.  These  amounted  altogether  to  151  officers  and 
2,848  men.     The  French  lost  141  officers  and  2,664  men. 

On  the  2nd  September  the  Xlllth  army  corps  arrived  before 
Metz,  and  in  consequence  the  German  army  was  distributed  for 
the  investment  as  follows :  Kummer's  landwehr  division  on  the 
line  Malroy-Charly ;  to  its  left,  the  1st  army  corps  as  far  as  the 
Saarbruck  road ;  and  then  came  the  Xlllth  corps  as  far  as  Poully. 
The  Vllth  corps  was  placed  on  the  south  of  Metz  on  both  sides  of 
the  Moselle,  covering  also  the  passages  over  the  Seylle.  On  the 
left  bank  were  the  Vlllth  corps  from  Jussy  to  Chatel,  the  Ilird 
corps  from  Chatel  to  Saulny,  the  Xth  corps  from  Saulny  to  Marange. 

36906.  G 


In  reserve,  on  the  natural  line  of  communication  of  the  enemy 
with  the  interior  of  France,  was  the  IXth  corps  extended  on  the 
line  from  Eoncourt  to  Pierrevilliers. 

The  battle  of  Noisseville  was  the  last  great  attempt  made  by 
Marshal  Bazaine  to  break  through  the  investing  army,  and  was 
followed  by  three  weeks  of  apparent  rest.  The  next  engagements 
brought  on  by  the  French  were  for  the  purpose  of  covering  their 
foraging  expeditions  in  search  of  hay,  straw,  and  provisions,  espe- 
cially potatoes,  a  sure  preventive  of  scurvy,  which  appeared  in  the 
fortress  owing  to  the  want  of  salt.  Eventually  the  French  used 
generally  to  advance  with  strong  columns  against  our  outposts, 
who  thereupon  fell  back  upon  the  positions  previously  fortified. 
If  such  an  attack  succeeded,  they  retired  with  their  booty  under 
cover  of  the  forts,  and  the  Prussian  outposts  in  the  evening  were 
back  again  in  their  old  positions.  In  this  way  villages  and  farms 
were  burnt  and  much  damage  of  other  kinds  was  done.  Such  was 
the  character  of  the  engagements  at  Peltre  on  the  22ud  and  23rd 
September,  and  at  Mercy-le-Haut  on  the  27  th  September.  Per- 
haps also  in  these  engagements  the  French  had  some  idea  of 
making  an  attempt  to  break  through  in  the  direction  of  Strasburg. 
The  Vllth  and  1st  army  corps  were  engaged  in  both  the  first- 
mentioned  fights,  which  did  not  assume  large  proportions.  Of  a 
more  serious  character,  however,  was  the  fight  on  the  27th  Sep- 
tember, which  was  at  first  directed  against  these  same  troops,  but 
subsequently  also  against  detachments  of  the  Xth  corps  at  La 
Maxe  on  the  left  bank  of  the  Moselle.  On  this  occasion  the 
French  troops  were  brought  immediately  on  to  the  battle-field  by 
the  railway,  which  had  been  reconstructed  within  the  line  of  their 
outposts.  These  battles  had  no  particular  consequences,  although 
the  loss  was  considerable  on  both  sides. 

After  the  fall  of  Strasburg  Marshal  Bazaine  seemed  to  have 
an  idea  of  breaking  through  to  the  northward,  in  the  first  instance 
to  Thionville,  in  order  to  occupy  that  place  or  to  pass  over  with 
his  army  to  neutral  territory.  Consequently,  the  distribution  of 
the  investing  force  had  to  be  altered.  For  the  execution  of  his 
plan  Marshal  Bazaine  chose  the  moment  when  Rummer's  land- 
wehr  division  came  on  to  the  line  of  outposts  in  the  place  of  the 
Xth  army  corps.  The  most  advanced  outposts  consisted  of  two 
landwehr  battalions  in  patches  of  wood  north  of  the  Bois  de 
Woippy,  and  pushed  forward  to  Bellevue,  St.  Eemy,  Les  Petites 
and  Les  Grrandes  Tapes,  with  pickets  at  St.  Agathe  and  Ladon- 

On  the  night  of  the  2nd  October  the  enemy  attacked,  threw 
the  outposts  above  mentioned  back  upon  the  pickets  at  St.  Eemy, 
which  they  assailed  in  vain,  and  of  which  the  garrison,  consisting  of 
two  companies  of  the  Neutomischl  landwehr  battalion,  was  at  once 
reinforced  by  two  companies  of  the  Kosten  landwehr  battalion. 

About  5  o'clock  the  enemy  made  a  fruitless  attack  on  St. 
Hemy,  whose  garrison  had  been  meanwhile  strengthened  by  four 
more  companies,  and  also  on  Bellevue,  which  was  defended  by 
the  Freistadt  landwehr  battalion.      The  six  companies  of  the  last- 


named  battalion  retook  St.  Agatbe,  two  Prussian  batteries  fired 
on  Ladonchamps  from  Semecourt,  and  from  9  o'clock  A.M.  a 
tbird  Prussian  battery  wbicli  bad  taken  up  a  jDosition  at  Les 
Tapes,  joined  in  tbe  cannonade.  Upon  tbese  was  directed  tbe 
concentrated  fire  of  several  Frencb  batteries  placed  at  St.  Eloy, 
and  tbey  bad  in  consequence  to  retire.  \Miilst  tbe  landwehr 
division  beld  tbeir  ground  against  a  vastly  superior  enemy,  tbe 
artillery  fire  on  botb  sides  was  kept  up  until  tbe  evening,  and  by  it 
St.  Eemy  and  Franclocbamps  were  set  in  flames. 

On  tbe  7tb  October  tbe  Frencb  made  a  second  attack  on  tbe 
field  of  battle,  on  wbicb  tbey  bad  already  learnt  by  experience 
tbe  bravery  of  Rummer's  landwebr  division,  and  an  engage- 
ment lasting  nine  bours  took  place  at  Woippy.  At  1  o'clock  in 
tbe  afternoon  our  outposts  of  Kummer's  landwebr  division  were 
attacked  at  Bellevue  and  St.  Eemy,  as  well  as  at  Les  Petites  and 
Les  Grande  Tapes,  by  Frencb  columns  greatly  superior  in  numbers, 
about  30,000  or  40,000  men,  and  after  a  brave  resistance  beat 
tbem  back.  Tbe  Prussian  landwebr  fougbt  bere  witb  tbe  greatest 
obstinacy,  tbe  most  stubborn  endurance,  and  tbe  most  brilliant 
courage,  so  tbat  tbe  enemy  was  unable  to  gain  ground.  Simul- 
taneously witb  tbe  commencement  of  tbis  attack  on  tbe  left  bank 
of  tbe  Moselle,  tbe  Frencb  made  a  demonstration  on  tbe  rigbt 
bank,  against  tbe  position  of  tbe  1st  army  corps  at  Servigny  and 
Noisseville,  and  against  tbe  Xtb  army  corps  at  Malroy  and  Cbar- 
loy.  Tbe  figbt  bere  was  only  witb  artillery  and  musketry,  wbicb 
tbe  Frencb  tbougbt  sufficient  to  prevent  tbese  troops  from  crossing 
tbe  Moselle.  In  spite  of  tbis,  Wedell's  brigade  of  tbe  Xtb  corps, 
tbe  16tb  and  57tb  regiments,  crossed  tbe  Moselle  at  Argency. 
Here  tbey  formed  to  attack  on  tbe  flank  of  tbe  left  wing  of  Kum- 
mer's division,  wbile  at  tbe  same  time,  on  tbe  rigbt  wing,  Conta's 
brigade  of  tbe  48tb  and  4tb  regiments  of  infantry  advanced  and 
occupied  tbe  Bois  de  Woippy  and  a  farm  close  by.  Tbe  Frencb 
being  vigorously  attacked  botb  in  front  and  on  tbeir  left  wing, 
bad  to  give  up  again  tbe  positions  tbey  bad  taken  earlier  in  tbe 
day,  and  to  fall  back  upon  tbe  fortress,  wbilst  tbe  Prussians  re- 
mained masters  of  tbe  same  ground  as  at  tbe  beginning  of  tbe 
figbt.  Tbey  took  Bellevue,  St.  Remy,  and  tbe  two  Tapes  by 
storm.  On  tbe  otber  band  tbey  failed  in  an  attempt  made  late  in 
tbe  evening  to  take  tbe  Cbateau  Ladoncbamps,  wbicb  was  strongly 
occupied  by  tbe  Frencb  and  fortified.  Tbe  loss  on  tbe  Prussian 
side  amounted  to  65  officers  and  1,665  men. 

Capitulation. — Marsbal  Bazaine,  after  tbe  failure  of  all  bis 
sorties,  could  not  but  be  aware  tbat  furtber  enterprises  of  tbe  same 
description  would  only  be  attended  by  similar  results.  His  bonour 
as  a  soldier  was  saved,  and  bis  duty  to  bis  country  was  done,  in 
detaining  230,000  men  before  Metz.  But  if  be  bad  succeeded  in 
breaking  out — if  tbe  Marsbal  bad  marcbed  towards  Paris,  be 
would  but  liave  come  between  two  fires ;  and  as  regarded  any  otber 
objects  of  bis  marcb,  witbout  cavalry  or  borses  for  transport,  witb 
bis  guns  wretcbedly  borsed,  witb  no  safe  communication  to  tbe 
rear,  witbout  tbe  means  of  supporting  bis  army,  be  would  bave 

G  2 


"been  exposed  to  the  most  harassing  pursuit.  The  consideration  of 
these  circumstances  clears  the  Marshal  of  blame,  considering  the 
question  from  a  military  point  of  view,  and  the  more  so,  as 
although  cut  off  from  all  communication  hy  either  land,  water,  or 
telegraph,  he  had  held  out  in  a  place,  which,  having  been  origi- 
nally provisioned  for  15,000  or  20,000  men  for  three  months,  had 
already  maintained  eight  times  that  number  of  troops  for  nine  weeks. 
Whether  the  Marshal  had  any  ulterior  political  reason  for  his  con- 
duct, we  know  just  as  little  as  we  know  the  motive  of  the  myste- 
rious journey  of  Greneral  Bourbaki  from  Metz  to  the  Empress 
Eugenie.  In  no  way  liad  the  capitulation  been  of  use  to  M.  Gam- 
betta,  whose  plan  was  to  raise  the  siege  of  Paris  by  armies  newly 
formed  in  the  North  and  South.  This  plan  was  frustrated  now 
that  the  1st  and  Ilnd  Prussian  armies  before  Metz  had  become 

The  time  for  negotiations  for  a  surrender  had  come,  and  to 
delay  was  to  starve.  Marshal  Bazaine  wished  to  surrender  him- 
self and  the  army,  but  to  keep  the  fortress  for  France.  On  the 
side  of  the  Prussians,  however,  this  could  not  be  agreed  to,  be- 
cause the  place,  if  excluded  from  the  capitulation,  was  in  a  condi- 
tion to  hold  out  for  many  months.  Nothing  came,  therefore,  of 
the  negotiations  to  this  effect,  which  General  Boyer  was  engaged 
in  from  the  13th  to  the  15th  October,  at  the  German  head- 
quarters at  Versailles. 

On  the  21st  October  General  CoflSnieres,  the  commandant  of 
the  fortress,  informed  General  Bazaine  that  he  had  no  more  pro- 
visions for  the  troops  quartered  outside  the  fortress.  In  conse- 
quence of  this,  desertions  were  tacitly  allowed,  but  the  deserters 
were  turned  back  by  the  Prussian  outposts  in  great  numbers.  It 
was  also  thought  that  the  Prussians  might  be  compelled  to  take 
the  army  prisoners,  by  bringing  on  a  battle  with  this  intention. 
At  last  they  thought  to  sally  out  by  Gravelotte,  on  the  night  of 
the  24th-25th  October,  but  this  plan  was  not  executed. 

On  the  25th  October,  General  Changarnier  entered  upon  fresh 
negotiations  with  Prince  Frederick  Cliarles.  The  terms  of  the 
capitulation  of  Sedan  were  taken  as  a  basis,  and  the  officers  who 
chose  imprisonment  were  permitted  to  carry  their  arms  away 
^^dth  them. 

On  the  morning  of  the  27th  October  the  fortress  fell  into  our 
hands,  perfectly  uninjured,  together  with  its  military  establish- 
ments, with  its  3  marshals,  50  generals,  6,000  officers,  173,000 
men,  53  eagles,  300,000  stand  of  arms,  66  mitrailleurs,  541  field 
guns,  800  garrison  guns,  the  stores  of  85  field  batteries,  and  2,000 
military  vehicles.  On  the  same  day  the  Crown  Prince  and  Prince 
Frederick  Charles  were  made  Field  Marshals.  Thanks  are  due 
also,  however,  to  the  brave  investing  army,  who  for  ten  weeks  bore 
all  the  hardships  with  a  stedfast  endurance  peculiarly  their  own  ; 
who,  by  steady  vigilance  and  unequalled  courage,  brought  about 
a  result  without  example  in  military  history,  and  had  compelled 
the  army  of  the  enemy  to  lay  down  their  arms  in  Metz,  which  had 
been  called  by  them  with  proud  confidence  an  impregnable  fortress. 


Already,  eight  days  before  the  capitulation,  railway  wagons, 
with  provisions  for  the  garrison  and  inhabitants  of  Metz,  were 
standing  in  the  railway  station  of  Courcelles. 

On  the  day  of  the  capitulation  an  artillery  and  an  engineer 
officer  from  each  Prussian  army  corps,  with  non-commissioned 
officers,  were  told  off,  in  the  first  instance,  to  take  over  the 
powder  magazines  and  destroy  any  mines  that  might  exist.  Next 
the  forts  were  occupied,  each  by  two  battalions  of  infantry,  a 
company  of  garrison  artillery,  and  a  detachment  of  pioneers 
(engineers) ;  then  the  gates  of  the  town,  and  finally  the  town 
itself,  were  taken  possession  of.  Steps  were  immediately  taken 
for  restoring  the  10  kilometres  (6  English  miles)  of  railway  from 
Metz  to  Courcelles,  and  the  very  first  train  that  ran  into  Metz 
brought,  to  the  great  delight  of  the  inhabitants,  1,000  sheep  into 
the  fortress.  At  the  same  time  German  forethought  was  brought 
into  action  for  the  benefit  of  the  tow^n  and  fortress,  by  the  imme- 
diate appointment  of  an  extraordinary  sanitary  commission  to  pre- 
vent the  seeds  of  epidemic  disease  from  being  sown.  It  is  to  be 
hoped  that  they  may  also  succeed,  by  suitable  measm-es  and  ar- 
rangements with  regard  to  the  inhabitants,  both  as  citizens  and 
as  Christians,  in  bringing  universal  contentment  to  the  hearts 
of  this  originally  German  population. 



(plate    XII.) 

Verdun,  a  fortress  of  the  first  class,  with  12,000  inhabitants,  lies 
deep  in  the  Meuse  valley,  on  both  sides  of  the  river.  On  the 
north  and  east  the  town  is  enclosed  by  heights,  within  gunshot, 
which  fall  with  steep  slopes  towards  the  right  bank  of  the  river. 
The  low  ground  lies  chiefly  on  the  left  bank,  and  is  severed  in  two 
parts  by  a  ridge  which  extends  as  far  as  the  town,  affording 
an  extensive  view  over  it  to  the  north  and  south.  The 
latter  was  in  part  placed  under  water.  This  range  in  a  westerly 
direction,  as  well  as  the  bare  unprotected  hills  on  the  right  bank 
of  the  Meuse,  afford  favourable  positions  for  artillery.  The  stream, 
which  during  a  great  part  of  the  year  is  very  shallow,  flows 
through  the  town  in  two  branches,  and  is  on  this  account  crossed 
by  many  bridges. 

The  fortifications  are  perfectly  simple :  on  the  north  and  south 
are  bastioned  fronts ;  the  enceinte  on  the  east  is  of  a  similar 
trace,  and  on  the  west  is  the  citadel,  commanding  all  around  it, 
and  connected  with  the  fortifications  of  the  town  by  lines  con- 
structed for  the  purpose.  Between  the  town  and  citadel  is  the 
esplanade,  which  stands  high  and  affords  a  view  over  the  town. 
Excepting  several  ravelins,  there  are  no  outworks.  The  ditches  are 
partly  wet,  but  revetted  with  masonry,  and  all  the  profiles  are  sach 
that  the  place  must  be  considered  secure  from  assault.  The  kernel 
of  the  defence  is  the  formidable  citadel.  It  was  entirely  rebuilt  by 
Marshal  Vauban,  and  has  now  four  bastioned  fronts,  each  of  which 
is  strengthened  by  having  a  ravelin  in  front  of  it ;  the  fifth  front, 
turned  towards  the  valley  of  the  Meuse,  is  of  considerable  lengtb. 
The  long  curtain  has,  therefore,  been  broken  in  the  middle  in 
order  to  obtain  better  flanking  defence  of  the  ditches  in  front  of  the 
bastions.  The  fire  from  this  curtain  sweeps  the  southern  front  of 
the  town  and  some  of  the  bridges  over  the  Meuse.  This  front 
has  no  ravelin  to  cover  the  curtain.  It  is  in  fact  built  on  the 
steep  slope  down  to  the  Meuse.  The  citadel  has  a  gate  leading 
to  the  country,  and  one  to  the  town.  The  fortifications  of  the 
town  have  three  entrances,  giving  passage  to  the  high  roads  from 
Metz,  Etain,  and  Bar-le-duc.  They  are  under  the  fire  of  the 
guns  of  the  fortress.  The  ground  round  the  fortress  is  generally 
clear  for  a  distance  of  2,000  paces,  with  the  exception  of  some 
villages,  the  suburb  of  Pave  between  the  roads  leading  to  Etain 
and  to  Metz,  and  some  farms  which  played  a  part  in  the  siege 
and,  as  we  may  as  well  state  here,  were  used  to  very  good  effect 

Plate  XIL 


by  the  garrison  to  command  the  ground  in  front,  and  to  facilitate 
their  sorties.  The  country  lying  to  the  westward  of  the  citadel, 
in  our  opinion  the  only  side  on  which  Verdun  is  open  to  attack, 
is  covered  with  many  vineyards.  There  are  no  detached  works 
round  the  fortress,  nor  is  there  sufficient  bombproof  cover  for  a 
garrison  of  the  war  strength. 

The  occupation  of  Verdun  was  important  for  the  armies  before 
Paris,  and  for  the  forces  operating  in  the  West  of  France,  because 
the  fortress  bars  the  direct  line  of  railway  from  the  "Middle 
Rhine  "  or  Metz  by  Chalons  to  Paris.  This  railway  was  still  in 
course  of  construction  when  war  was  declared  in  July  1870,  and 
only  passable  for  a  short  distance. 

Thus  Verdun  was  at  that  time  merely  a  terminus.  The  com- 
pletion of  the  line  of  railway  from  Verdun  to  Metz,  even  if  but 
temporary,  would  have  afforded  great  facilities  to  the  German 
army  before  Paris  for  the  transport  of  ammunition,  provisions, 
and  reserve  troops,  as  well  as  for  sending  the  sick  and  wounded  to 
the  rear.  Verdun  is  also,  however,  regarded  as  a  "  barrier "  on 
the  road  from  the  Middle  Ehine  through  the  Argonnes,  the  pass  of 
Les  Grandes  Islettes,  to  Chalons  and  Paris. 

The  franc-tireurs,  who  were  very  active  in  that  neighbourhood, 
found  the  fortress  a  point  d'appui,  which  they  gladly  used ;  and 
the  very  obstinate  resistance  they  made  to  those  of  our  troops  op- 
posed to  them  is  explained  by  the  fact,  that  they  hoped  up  to  the 
last  moment  that  Marshal  Bazaine  would  break  out  and  relieve 
the  garrison. 

Immediately  after  the  battles  round  Metz,  which  were  so  fruit- 
ful in  residts  for  the  German  arms,  the  Xllth  Saxon  army 
corps  was  moved  from  the  battle-fields  there,  by  the  roads  Etain- 
Verdun  or  Fresnes-Verdun  towards  Paris,  and  accordingly  arrived 
in  front  of  the  place  on  the  24th  August.  An  attempt  was  made 
to  gain  the  place  by  a  sudden  attack.  The  field  batteries  with 
the  army  corps  took  up  a  position  for  this  purpose  on  the  heights 
between  Verdun  and  Belrupt,  east  of  the  fortress,  and  shelled 
the  place  from  11  o'clock  in  the  morning.  Under  cover  of  this 
fire,  the  108th  Saxon  sharpshooters,  with  great  bravery  and 
under  a  heavy  fire  of  the  enemy,  stormed  the  suburb  of  Pave, 
which  lies  immediately  in  front  of  the  glacis,  on  both  sides  of 
the  road  leading  to  Etain.  First-Lieutenant  von  Schimpf  was 
sent  into  the  fortress  with  a  flag  of  truce,  but  returned  without 
having  produced  any  effect.  His  trumpeter  was  shot  on  this  oc- 
casion. General  Marmier,  commandant  for  the  time  being,  replied 
that  he  would  rather  be  buried  under  the  ruins  of  the  fortress 
than  surrender  it.  As  further  proceedings  against  the  fortress 
were  impracticable,  and  the  advance  on  Paris  could  not  be  de- 
layed, the  army  corps  at  once  continued  its  march,  and  crossed  the 
Meuse,  both  above  and  below  the  fortress,  the  same  day,  leaving 
the  47th  infantry  brigade  behind  to  observe  the  place. 

The  action  had  sho-svu  that  the  fortress  was  secure  from  assault, 
defensible,  sufficiently  garrisoned,  and  fully  armed  with  heavy 
garrison  guns. 


A  provision  or  ammunition  train,  under  the  impression  that 
the  place  was  ah-eady  in  our  hands,  went  straight  into  the  fortress 
and  fell  into  the  possession  of  the  garrison.  The  same  thing 
happened  to  a  field  post  coming  from  Sedan. 

On  the  7th  September  the  above-mentioned  detachment  was 
relieved  by  a  stronger  one  under  the  command  of  Ijieutenant- 
Greneral  Bothmer.  Tlie  latter  consisted  of  the  65th  regiment 
(otli  Ehenish),  the  4th  (Schleswig)  reserve  hussars,  the  9t]i  ulan 
regiment  (2nd  Pomeranian),  and  two  horse  artillery  guns,  with  a 
heavy  reserve  battery  of  the  Vllth  army  corps.  Of  these  the 
ulan  regiment  and  the  subdivision  of  horse  artillery  were  told  off 
for  the  left  bank  of  the  Meuse,  but  soon  recalled,  while  the  rest  of 
the  detachment  undertook  the  investment  of  the  fortress  on  the 
right  bank  of  tlie  Meuse.  Of  this  force,  moreover,  the  1st  battalion 
of  the  65th  regiment  was  ordered  off  to  guard  the  communications 
between  Sedan  and  IMontmedy ;  so  that  under  these  circumstances 
the  investment  of  the  fortress  was  but  very  incomplete.  Mean- 
while, artillery  materiel  was  brought  up  from  Toul  and  Sedan. 
JVs  the  place  was  not  completely  invested,  it  was  impossible  to 
prevent  the  garrison  from  receiving  considerable  additions  from 
stragglers  and  escaped  prisoners,  and  from  being  well  informed  as 
to  what  took  place  outside  the  fortress. 

On  the  15th  September  a  slight  engagement  took  place  at 
Maxeville.  A  foraging  expedition,  consisting  of  the  7th  company 
of  the  65th  regiment  and  a  subdivision  of  hussars,  were  attacked 
by  four  French  companies  and  a  squadron  of  Chasseurs  d'Afrique. 
The  things  that  had  been  requisitioned  were  brought  off  in  safety, 
but  the  infantry  lost  8  killed  and  15  wounded. 

September  18. — The  same  company  had  another  collision  with 
three  French  companies  that  had  advanced  at  daybreak  against 
Belleville.  They  were  repulsed  by  the  Prussians,  Avho  lost  8  men 
killed  and  wounded.  The  artillery  of  the  garrison  took  part  in  the 
action  toAvards  its  close  with  some  effect. 

On  the  23rd  September  four  Ehenish  landwehr  battalions 
(Aix-la-Chapelle,  Jiilich,  Simmern,  and  Andernach),  a  reserve  ulan 
regiment,  and  a  heavy  battery  of  the  8th  brigade  of  artillery 
joined  the  investing  force.  In  consequence  of  this  reinforcement 
the  fortress  was  more  closely  invested,  especially  on  the  left  bank  of 
the  Meuse.  On  the  promotion  of  Lieutenant-General  von  Bothmer 
to  the  command  of  the  13th  division,  Major-Gfeneral  von  Oayl, 
commanding  the  2nd  infantry  brigade,  took  over  the  command 
of  the  besieging  force.  His  headquarters  were  situated  in  the 
village  of  Charny  on  the  Meuse. 

On  the  24th  September  the  10th  company  of  the  65th 
regiment  was  attacked  at  Charny  by  French  infantry  in  superior 
numbers  and  a  squadron  of  chassem's,  who  were,  however, 
driven  back  into  the  fortress  with  the  help  of  a  reinforcement 
brought  up  in  haste  from  Bras.  The  loss  on  our  side  amounted 
to  four  men. 

On  the  25th  September  the  two  batteries  present  with  the 
investing  force  shelled  the  south  side  of  tlie  fortifications  of  the 


town  and  the  citadel  with  about  200  shells,  and  this  fire  was 
answered  briskly  from  the  fortress.     A  sortie  was  repulsed. 

In  the  night  of  the  25th-26th  September  some  emplacements 
were  made,  near  Belrupt  and  elsewhere ;  but  the  work  was  very 
difficult,  on  account  of  the  rocky  nature  of  the  soil. 

On  the  2nd  October  several  f'rench  companies  and  a  squadron 
of  chasseurs  attacked  the  6th  company  of  the  65th  regiment,  but 
were  once  more  beaten  back  into  the  fortress  after  a  hard  fight. 

Owing  to  the  comparatively  small  numbers  of  the  investing 
force  it  was  not  possible  to  drive  the  very  energetic  and  active 
enemy  altogether  into  the  fortress  from  his  positions  outside. 
He  remained  in  possession  among  other  places  of  the  villages  of 
Thierville  and  Regret  on  the  west  of  the  fortress,  both  of  them 
commanded  from  the  citadel. 

On  the  2nd  and  3rd  October,  therefore,  a  heavy  cannonade 
was  opened  upon  these  places  by  the  reserve  battery  of  the  8th 
brigade  of  artillery,  as  unceasing  alarms  were  given,  and  small 
skirmishes  took  place  along  the  whole  line  of  the  investment.  By 
their  possession  of  several  positions  within  these,  but  still  outside 
the  fortress,  the  French  were  able  to  bring  on  these  engagements 
and  carry  them  through  successfully ;  so  that  it  became  absolutely 
necessary  to  take  possession  of  the  outer  lines  of  the  French 
position.  Accordingly  the  attack  on  Thierville  was  forthwith 
ordered,  and  on  the  11th  October  the  duty  was  assigned  to  the 
1st  battalion  of  the  65th  (Rhenish)  regiment,  which  had  re- 
turned to  Verdun  the  previous  day  from  its  detached  duty  of 
guarding  the  communications  to  Sedan.  The  village  was  occupied 
by  three  companies  of  gardes  mobiles.  The  battalion  named 
advanced  in  three  columns,  threw  themselves  with  a  shout  on 
the  pickets,  and  upon  the  approach  to  the  village,  and  after  a 
few  short  struggles  in  one  or  two  places,  drove  the  garrison  out  of 
the  village.  After  the  battalion  had  secured  themselves  there 
with  field-works,  barricades,  and  shelter-trenches,  and  the  4th 
company  had  taken  up  a  position  on  the  Weinberg,  south-west  of 
the  village,  the  enemy  came  out  of  Verdun  by  Jardin  Fontaine 
and  endeavoured  to  recapture  the  village.  This  attempt  was  re- 
pulsed after  a  short  struggle.  The  1st  battalion  of  the  65th  regi- 
ment lost  two  killed  and  one  wounded  in  the  taking  of  Thierville. 

During  the  12th  October  a  great  number  of  French  stragglers 
were  captured  in  and  round  Thierville.  These  men  were  unable 
to  reach  the  fortress,  where  they  hoped  to  be  well  received.  On 
the  evening  of  this  day  the  3rd  and  4th  companies  of  the  65th 
regiment,  under  the  command  of  Captain  ]Michaelis,  received 
orders  to  take  possession  of  the  suburb  of  Jardin  Fontaine, 
which  lies  close  in  front  of  the  glacis  of  the  fortress.  Whilst  the 
2nd  and  fusilier  battalions  at  the  same  time  occupied  some  other 
places  within  short  range  of  the  fortress,  such  as  Regret,  Belle- 
ville, Grlorieux,  the  farmhouses  of  St.  Barthelemy  and  Constantino 
on  the  right  bank  of  the  Mouse,  a  heavy  and  continuous  mus- 
ketry and  artillery  engagement  took  place  at  Jardin  Fontaine,  in 
which  the  defenders  were  powerfidly  supported  by  the  fire  of  the 


artillery,  musketry,  and  mitrailleurs  of  the  citadel.  After  a 
nocturnal  engagement  of  1^  hour's  duration  they  succeeded,  how- 
ever, in  establishing  themselves  in  the  village  and  barricading  it. 
Thanks  to  the  darkness  and  the  bad  shooting  of  the  French,  the 
loss  of  the  two  companies  of  the  65th  regiment  employed  in 
the  attack  amounted  only  to  1  killed  and  about  20  wounded.  It 
was  not  till  after  these  engagements  that  the  fortress  could  properly 
be  said  to  be  bombarded.  The  cannonade  was  now  to  commence 
from  two  sides,  and  the  following  batteries  had  to  be  built : 

1.  To  the  north  of  Verdun,  en  the  heights  of  Belleville,  six 
batteries,  which,  beginning  on  the  left,  were  armed  with 

6  Prussian  rifled  6-poimders 
6  French  rifled  12-pounders. 
4  22-centimetre  howitzers. 
4  French  rifled  24-pounders. 
4  French  rifled  24-pounders. 
6  French  rifled  12-pounders. 

2.  On  the  west  of  Verdun,  on  the  left  bank  of  the  Meuse,  on 
the  heights  of  Thierville,  five  batteries  armed  with 

6  French  rifled  12-pounders. 
6  French  rifled  12-pounders. 
6  French  rifled  24-pounders. 
6  Prusssian  rifled  6-pounders. 
4  French  heavy  mortars. 

The  construction  of  the  batteries  took  place  on  the  night  of 
12th- 13th  October  under  unusually  difiicult  circumstances.  The 
weather  was  wet  and  stormy,  so  that  the  enemy  did  not  discover 
the  works.  The  time  had  been  too  short  for  the  preparation  of 
all  the  battery  materials  that  were  required.  For  the  heavy  guns 
there  were  only  improvised  platforms,  for  the  lighter  ones  there 
were  no  platforms  at  all.  There  was  a  want  of  entrenching  tools, 
and  the  stiff,  and  in  part  rocky  ground,  had  generally  first 
to  be  loosened  with  the  pickaxe.  Moreover,  the  rifled  24- 
pounders  did  not  arrive  from  Sedan  till  1  o'clock  in  the  morning, 
and  then  they  were  in  the  travelling  trunnion  holes.  There  were 
no  gyns,  and  thus  the  work  of  bringing  them  into  the  firing 
trunnion  holes,  and  placing  them  in  battery,  seemed  endless. 
But  in  spite  of  all,  the  whole  of  the  guns  were  ready  to  open 
about  6  o'clock  in  the  morning,  and  about  this  time  the  fire 
began  with  a  "  hurrah  "  for  his  Majesty  the  King. 

The  high  buildings  in  the  citadel  were  indicated  as  the  object 
for  the  24-pounders  in  the  first  instance,  and  secondly  the  guns 
on  the  ramparts.  An  attempt  was  then  to  be  made  to  breach  a  part 
of  the  high  escarp  wall.  The  rifle  12  and  6-pounders  had  orders 
to  draw  upon  themselves  the  fire  of  the  enemy's  guns,  and  if 
possible  to  silence  them,  and  also  to  oppose  any  sorties  that  might 
be  attempted.  The  heavy  howitzers  and  mortars,  lastly,  were 
told  off  to  bombard  the  town  itself,  in  order  to  bring  pressure  to 
bear  on  the  commandant  through  the  inhabitants. 


The  construction  of  the  batteries  was  carried  on  without 
interruption  from  the  enemy's  fire,  and  even  the  first  few  rounds 
were  unanswered.  But  it  was  not  long  before  an  enemy  not  to 
be  despised  appeared  on  the  whole  of  the  fronts  attacked,  and  he 
did  not  remain  in  our  debt,  but  paid  us  back  shot  for  shot.  We 
succeeded,  however,  during  the  first  afternoon,  in  setting-  fire  to 
several  magazines ;  guns  were  silenced  here  and  there,  and  in 
many  places  the  town  burst  into  flames,  but  no  white  flag  was 
shown  to  announce  a  surrender,  though  the  bombardment  had 
lasted  day  and  night  for  fifty-four  hours.  Owing  to  the  great 
distance,  on  an  average  2,400  paces,  and  to  the  inaccuracy 
in  shooting  of  the  heavy  French  guns,  the  breach  could  not  be 
reported  practicable,  so  that  there  was  no  opportunity  for  the 
action  of  the  infantry.  The  garrison  artillery  were  very  active, 
shot  well,  and  repeatedly  brought  fresh  guns  into  action.  The 
bombardment  above  described,  which  cost  the  siege  corps  6 
officers,  5  of  them  belonging  to  the  artillery,  and  between  60  and 
70  men  killed  and  wounded,  had  at  length  to  be  stopped,  partly 
owing  to  the  want  of  ammunition,  partly  omng  to  the  want  of 
suitable  artillery,  for  the  pieces  found  in  Sedan  and  sent  to  Verdun 
proved  themselves  in  practice  to  be  inefficient.  Preparations 
were  made,  therefore,  as  quickly  as  possible,  for  obtaining  rein- 
forcements of  guns  and  gunners. 

Nevertheless  an  attempt  was  made,  by  sending  a  flag  of  truce, 
to  induce  the  commandant,  Greneral  Gruerin  de  Waldersbach,  to 
surrender  the  fortress,  but  without  result.  The  commandant,  on 
the  contrary,  begged  the  commander  of  the  besieging  force,  Major- 
General  von  Grayl,  to  desist  from  the  siege,  as  both  the  garrison 
and  the  citizens  were  ready  to  do  their  duty  to  the  last  moment. 
A  fitting  reply  was  made  to  the  French  commandant. 

On  the  18th  October  a  military  execution  took  place  on  the 
person  of  a  French  notary  named  Violard,  who  was  convicted  of 
treachery  to  the  Prussian  troops,  and  was  shot  at  the  village  of 
Bras.  At  the  same  time  the  outposts  at  Maxeville  discovered  a 
balloon-post,  which  conveyed  letters  addressed  to  the  Grovernment 
at  Tours ;  but  it  could  not  be  caught. 

Meanwhile  the  technical  preparations  for  a  regular  siege,  spe- 
cially adapted  for  hurried  operations,  were  taken  in  hand.  Con- 
siderable supplies  of  ammunition  and  of  Prussian  siege  guns  were 
brought  in  to  the  artillery  siege  park.  The  garrison  continued 
their  energetic  defence,  and  made,  on  the  28th  October,  at  break 
of  day,  two  simultaneous  sorties  against  the  Prussian  batteries  on 
the  north  and  on  the  west  of  the  fortress.  In  the  first  the  enemy 
attacked  the  village  of  Belleville  on  both  sides.  The  companies 
of  the  65th  regiment  posted  there,  after  being  reinforced,  drove 
him  back,  but  unfortunately  with  a  loss  to  themselves  of  an  officer 
and  52  men  killed,  wounded,  and  missing.  The  destruction  of  the 
batteries  contemplated  by  the  enemy  on  this  occasion  ended  in  their 
rendering  unserviceable  only  one  gun  that  was  already  on  a  dis- 
mounted carriage.  In  the  other  sortie,  which  was  directed  against 
the  batteries  near  Thierville,  the  French  were  more  fortunate,  for 


tbey  succeeded  in  spiking  the  guns  there.  The  loss  at  this  place 
on  both  sides  was  not  inconsiderable.  The  disabled  guns  were, 
however,  made  serviceable  again  on  the  same  day. 

The  fall  of  Metz  rendered  it  practicable  to  send  important 
additions  in  troops  and  guns  to  the  siege  corps  at  Verdun.  The 
60th  regiment  (7th  Brandenburg),  the  8th  jager  battalion, 
and  the  8th  Rhenish  pioneer  battalion  came  up.  The  corps 
was  altogether  15,000  strong,  including  2,000  artillerymen. 
Colonels  Meissner  and  Eiedel  were  nominated  to  the  com- 
mands of  the  siege  artillery  and  engineers  respectively.  All  the 
technical  preparations  for  a  regular  siege  were  put  in  hand  at 
once.  Additional  materials  for  trenches  and  batteries  were  made 
ready,  timber  was  cut  for  blindages,  railway  metals  were  sent  up, 
and  so  on.  140  guns  with  their  equipment  of  1,000  rounds  were 
on  the  spot. 

During  these  preliminary  arrangements  the  commandant 
intimated  his  willingness  to  enter  into  negotiations  for  surrrender, 
which  seemed  to  be  justified  since  the  fall  of  Metz,  in  order  to 
avoid  bloodshed  and  the  destruction  of  the  town.  For  this  pnv- 
pose  an  armistice  was  granted  for  eight  days,  and  on  the  8th 
November  the  capitulation  of  the  fortress  and  town  of  Verdun 

Two  generals,  11  staff-officers,  150  officers  of  lower  rank,  and 
about  4,000  men  were  made  prisoners;  136  guns,  23,000  stand  of 
arms,  a  number  of  excellent  Arabian  horses,  and  very  considerable 
amounts  of  military  stores  were  found. 

The  terms  of  capitulation  were  made  very  favourable  for  the 
enemy,  in  proof  of  which  we  here  subjoin  them. 

"  Article  T.  The  fortress  and  town  of  Verdun,  with  all  warlike 
stores,  stores  of  every  description,  official  records,  and  all  public 
property  are  to  be  given  over  on  the  9th  November  to  General 
von  Gayl  in  the  condition  in  which  everything  is  at  the  moment 
the  convention  is  signed,  on  the  express  understanding  that 
they  are  to  be  restored  to  France  after  the  conclusion  of  peace. 
On  Wednesday,  the  9th  November  1870,  at  10  o'clock  in  the 
morning,  the  town  and  citadel  of  Verdun  are  to  be  given  over  to 
the  Prussian  troops.  At  the  same  hour  artillery  and  engineer 
officers,  with  some  non-commissioned  officers,  will  be  admitted  to 
the  place  to  take  charge  of  the  powder  magazines  and  unload  the 

"  Article  II.  The  garrison  are  prisoners  of  war  ;  but  the  gardes 
mobiles,  natives  of  Verdun,  and  the  domiciled  gardes  nationales 
shall  be  free  after  laying  down  their  arms,  and  none  of  the 
defenders  of  Verdun  shall  be  molested.  The  gensdarmerie  shall 
be  free  after  laying  down  their  arms,  and  shall  keep  their  horses. 
The  master-tradesmen  of  corps  shall  not  be  considered  as  soldiers, 
and  are  likewise  free. 

"  Article  III. — The  arms,  and  all  warlike  stores,  consisting  of 
guns,  stores,  military  chests,  waggons,  ammunition,  &c.  shall  be 
left  in  Verdun,  in  charge  of  a  military  commission,  which  will 
be  appointed  by  the  Greneral-Officer  Commanding,    and  they  shall 


at  once  hand  these  things  over  to  Prussian  commissioners,  to 
revert  to  France  on  the  conclusion  of  peace.  The  troops  disarmed 
will  be  marched  by  corps  in  order  to  the  places  appointed  for  each. 
They  retain  their  knapsacks  and  property. 

"  Article  IV. — The  officers  and  persons  of  that  rank  who  select 
imprisonment,  and  give  their  word  of  honour  to  present  them- 
selves on  a  fixed  day  at  a  place  previously  appointed,  are  free,  but 
only  to  betake  themselves  to  such  places.  All  retain  their  arms,, 
their  horses,  and  property. 

"  Article  V. — The  military  surgeons  remain  behind  to  treat  the 
wounded.  They  are  to  be  treated  according  to  the  convention  of 
Geneva,  as  are  also  the  attendants  of  the  hospitals. 

'^^  Article  VI. —  The  town  of  Verdun  remains  free  from  all  war 
tax  and  contribution  in  money.  Persons,  property,  civil  and  reli- 
gious institutions  will  be  regarded.  As  far  as  possible  the  troops 
will  be  quartered  in  the  military  buildings,  except  in  case  of  an 
extraordinary  number  passing  through. 

"  Article  VII. — All  public  establishments,  the  civil  and  com- 
mercial courts,  the  notariat,  trade,  and  industry  remain  freely  in_ 

"  Article  VIII. — Separate  points  that  hereafter  present  them- 
selves shall  be  regulated  by  an  appendix,  wliicli  shall  have  the 
same  force  as  the  present  convention." 

There  is  no  doubt  that  perfectly  clear  reasons  have  been  given, 
for  this  surrender,  extraordinarily  favourable  as  it  was  to  the 
enemy,  but  they  have  not  yet  been  published.  Before  Verdun  the 
combatants  on  both  sides  had  learnt  to  know  one  another,  and  were 
convinced  that  a  siege  would  have  cost  much  time,  materiel,  and 
troops.  Under  the  circumstances  then  existing  both  materiel  and 
troops  could  be  turned  to  better  account. 

In  the  citadel  much  damage  had  been  done,  a  straw  store  was 
burnt,  and,  generally  :>peaking,  all  the  buildings  that  it  was 
possible  to  destroy  had  been  destroyed.  The  parts  of  the  town 
near  the  fortifications  had  also  suffered  much  ;  but  the  principal 
streets,  and  even  the  lofty  cathedral  with  its  observatory,  remained 
uninjured  by  Prussian  shells.  The  temper  of  the  citizens  was 
in  accordance  with  the  circumstances  of  the  case.  They  had  not 
this  time  any  reason  to  fear  such  things  as  happened  after  the 
taking  by  the  Prussians  in  1792,  when  several  officers  gave  a  ball, 
and  the  revolutionary  tribunal  caused  fifteen  young  girls  to  be 
guillotined — the  youngest  only  seventeen  years  of  age — because 
they  had  danced  with  Prussian  officers. 



(plate     XIII.) 

For  the  advance  of  the  Grerman  Army  on  Paris,  as  well  as  for 
their  further  operations  in  the  north-west  of  France,  it  was  of  the 
highest  strategical  importance  to  have  possession  of  the  railway 
which  goes  northward  from  Paris  to  Soissons,  by  Nanteuil,  Crepy, 
and  Villers-Cotterets,  and  the  road-junctions  at  Soissons,  Chauny, 
Compiegne,  Villers-Cotterets,  and  Chateau  Thierry. 

Soissons  is  a  pleasant  manufacturing  town  with  11,000  inhabi- 
tants, and  has  three  gates,  through  which  pass  the  roads  to  Com- 
piegne, Laon,  and  Mezieres.  The  railway  is  to  the  south-east, 
and  within  range  of  the  guns  of  the  fortress  at  a  distance  of  1,500 
paces.  The  Aisne,  rising  in  the  forest  of  Argonne,  and  washing  the 
town  on  the  east,  is  here  never  more  than  100  paces  broad,  and  on 
the  south  of  the  fortress  receives  the  rather  deeply  sunk  stream  of 
the  Grrise.  The  Aisne  is  connected  with  the  Ourcq  canal,  which, 
as  is  well  known,  discharges  itself  into  the  St.  Denis  canal,  near 
Paris,  about  fifteen  miles  (70"2  English  miles)  from  Soissons. 

On  the  left  bank  of  the  Aisne  the  fortress  consists,  on  its  east 
side,  of  a  defensible  wall,  some  twenty  feet  high,  on  which  the 
north  and  south  fronts  terminate.  These,  as  well  as  the  west 
front,  are  formed  of  a  number  of  irregidar  bastions,  with  long 
connecting  lines  or  curtains,  strengthened  only  on  the  north-west 
by  ravelins  in  front.  Well-protected  sluices  afford  the  means  of 
filling  the  ditches  with  water  when  the  place  is  prepared  for  a 
siege,  thus  rendering  them  impassable.  In  time  of  peace  the 
ditches  are  dry. 

Kecently  the  south-west  front,  which  is  defensively  the  weakest, 
has  been  appropriately  strengthened  by  the  addition  of  a  large 
hornwork  placed  on  some  high  ground  which  falls  steeply  towards 
the  country.  Nearly  in  the  centre  of  the  east  front  a  massive 
bridge,  of  great  beauty  architecturally,  crosses  the  Aisne  to  the 
subm'b  of  St.  Vaast,  which  is  enclosed  independently  by  fortifica- 
tions, and  serves  as  a  bridge-head.  The  remaining  suburbs — St. 
Christophe  on  the  west,  De  Grrise  and  De  Eheims  on  the  south-west 
— are  much  built  over,  and  hence  of  some  disadvantage  defensively, 
since  they  interfere  with  the  fire  of  the  guns  of  the  works  behind 
them.  There  are  some  bombproof  powder  magazines  in  the 
fortress,  but  bombproof  barracks  are  entirely  wanting,  which  is  a 
serious  disadvantage  to  the  garrison.  The  profiles  and  the  details 
of  the  works  are  such  that  the  place  is  secure  from  a  coup« 
de-main.     The  ground  close  round  Soissons  is  a  good  deal  cut  up 

Plate  XIII 

f/iPrFioTi PC  S  //.£ 


by  valleys  on  the  south-west  and  south-east,  hut  elsewhere  flat  and 
partially  clothed  with  plantations ;  further  off,  however,  to  the 
north  on  the  plateau  of  Pasly,  to  the  east  at  Crouy  and  Ville- 
neuve,  it  is  covered  with  groups  of  houses,  parks,  and  vineyards. 
On  the  south,  at  Belleu  and  Vauxbuin,  it  is  favourable  for  the 
operations  of  an  investment,  for  the  roads  here  leading  to  Sois- 
sons  can  easily  be  converted  into  defensible  defiles  and  trenches. 
Some  of  the  heights,  especially  near  Vauxbuin,  are  within  such 
distances  of  the  fortress  that  they  afford  advantageous  artillery 
positions  for  our  long-range  rifled  guns,  and  are,  therefore,  exceed- 
ingly well  situated  for  the  bombardment  of  the  fortress.  There 
are  also  some  places  from  which  the  escarps  are  visible  down  to  the 
foot  of  the  wall  at  the  bottom  of  the  ditch. 

After  the  battle  of  Sedan  the  army  of  the  Meuse  resumed  its 
march  towards  Paris,  and  consequently  the  head  of  the  IVth  Prus- 
sian army  corps  belonging  to  that  army  arrived  before  the  fortress 
on  the  11th  September.  Major  von  Wittich,  of  the  general  staff, 
was  sent  into  the  fortress  with  a  flag  of  truce,  to  ask  the  Com- 
mandant to  evacuate  the  place.  The  latter  received  him  politely, 
but  decisively  rejected  the  proposal.  The  fortress  was  put  into  as 
good  a  condition  for  defence  as  time  and  circumstances  permitted^ 
by  cutting  down  the  trees  on  the  glacis,  barricading  the  entrances, 
clearing  the  lines  of  fire,  and  demolishing  the  suburbs  and  railway. 
The  commandant  had  destroyed  the  passage  over  the  Aisne  valley 
by  the  fine  suspension-bridge  at  Vailly.  The  overflow  of  the 
Aisne  into  the  lower  basin  of  the  ground  liable  to  inundation  put 
the  country  as  far  as  Bucy-le-Loug  under  water.  The  place  could 
not,  therefore,  be  taken  without  special  preparation.  As  the  ad- 
vance on  Paris  was  ordered  to  be  hastened,  the  columns  of  the  IVth 
army  corps  on  the  march  were  directed  for  the  time  to  i3ass  round 
the  place,  and  it  was  thought  sufficient  to  observe  it  vmtil  the  ar- 
rival of  the  2nd  landwehr  division,  under  the  command  of  Major- 
Greneral  von  Selchow,  who  were  told  off  for  the  investment.  They 
eventually  came  in  the  latter  part  of  September.  The  divisional 
headquarters  were  fixed  in  La  Carriere  de  I'Eveque.  Owing  to  the 
paucity  of  troops,  the  investment  of  the  fortress  was  incomplete  in 
its  earlier  stages  ;  the  right  bank  of  the  Aisne  was  almost  entirely 
open  to  the  French,  so  that  they  frequently  sent  out  foraging 
parties  there.  Small  engagements  of  the  patrols  were  ineffectual 
to  prevent  this  evil.  The  investment  of  the  fortress,  however, 
was  accomplished,  in  the  face  of  continual  and  repeated  sorties  and 
alarms  of  the  outposts  by  the  garrison.  An  affair  of  this  kind  on 
a  large  scale  took  place  on  the  28th  September,  and  tlie  enemy 
was  repulsed  by  the  landwehr  battalions  of  Landsberg,  Frankfurt, 
and  Woldenberg.  The  garrison  were  consequently  compelled  to 
beg  for  a  truce  to  carry  off  their  killed  and  wounded,  whilst  our 
loss  was  but  very  small.  Meanwhile  the  siege  corps  was  formed 
of  nine  landwehr  battalions,  comprising  those  of  Frankfurt,  Kiis- 
trin,  Landsberg,  Woldenberg,  Brandenburg,  Euppin,  Prenzlau,  and 
Jiiterbogk,  with  the  addition  of  the  Halberstadt  heavy  reserve 
cavalry  regiment,  a  squadron  of  the   1st  Mecklenburg  dragoons 


a  heavy  and  a  light  reserve  field  battery,  three  companies  of  the 
2nd,  4th,  and  11th  regiments  of  garrison  artillery,  and  a  com- 
pany of  Schleswig  garrison  pioneers  (engineers),  as  well  as  the 
pontoon  company  of  the  9th  battalion  of  pioneers  (engineers). 
Major-General  von  Selchow  commanded  the  siege  corps,  Colonel 
Bartsch  the  siege  artillery ;  Colonel  Braun,  of  the  staff  of  His 
Royal  Highness  the  Grand  Duke  of  Mecklenburg  Schwerin,  was 
the  Chief  Engineer. 

In  spite  of  repeated  engagements  with  the  energetic  garrison, 
who,  by  a  skilful  use  of  the  ground,  impeded  the  advance  of  the 
siege  corps,  and,  particularly  on  the  3rd  and  9th  October,  brought 
on  sanguinary  actions  for  the  possession  of  the  villages  of  Crouy  and 
Cuffies,  the  investment  became  by  the  10th  October  close  and 
complete.  The  enemy  was  forced  into  the  interior  of  the  fortress, 
and,  owing  to  the  energy  he  had  shown,  it  was  necessary  to  barri- 
cade, and  put  into  a  condition  for  defence,  the  nearest  villages  and 
farms,  especially  the  Ferme  la  Periere.  This  was  no  difficult 
matter,  as  it  was  solidly  built  and  suitable  for  defence.  In  order 
to  connect  the  sections  of  the  besieging  force  on  both  sides  of  the 
Aisne,  the  river  was  bridged  at  Pommiers  and  Venizel.  On  the 
following  days  the  heavy  guns  from  the  batteries  before  Toul 
arrived.     The  park  of  artillery  consisted  of 

10  24-pounders  1  n-a  j  t>        •  j 

■1  r>  1  r.  1       c  Kined  Prussian  ordnance. 

1  o   1 2-pounders  J 

2  27-centimetre  "j 

4  22-centimetre  >  French  mortars. 

4  15-centimetre  I 

Total  36  pieces  of  siege  artillery. 

Materials  for  the  construction  of  the  batteries  were  also  brought 
from  Toul.  The  southern  side  of  the  fortress  was  found,  on  being 
reconnoitred,  to  be  particularly  well-adapted  for  bombardment. 
The  following  batteries  were  constructed : — 

Battery  No.  1.     Emplacement  for  field  guns. 

Battery  No.  2.     Enfilading  battery,  4  24-pounders. 

Battery  No.  3.  Mortar  battery,  2  27-centimetre  and  4  22- 
centimetre  mortars. 

Battery  No.  4.     Breaching  battery,  6  24-pounders. 

Batteries  Nos.  5  &  6.  Two  dismounting  batteries  ;  together, 
12  1 2-pounders. 

Battery  No.  7.  Dismounting  battery  against  the  hornwork 
and  the  flanking  casemates  at  the  gate  to  Compiegne. 

Battery  No.  8.     Emplacement  for  field  guns. 

The  two  emplacements  were'  occupied  by  the  two  reserve 
batteries  present  with  the  siege  corps. 

On  the  morning  of  the  12th  October  the  bombardment  began 
in  the  presence  of  H.R.H.  the  Grrand  Duke  of  Mecklenburg, 
who  had  supreme  command  over  the  siege  corps,  and  of  His 
Highness  the  Duke  of  Saxe-Altenburg.  The  construction  of  the 
batteries  had  been  proceeded    with    during  the    previous  night 


without  interruption  from  the  enemy,  but  with  much  difficulty 
from  the  rocky  nature  of  the  soiL  Before  long  the  garrison 
artillery  replied  briskly  from  16  or  18  guns  to  the  fire  of  the 
besiegers,  so  that  some  of  the  batteries  had  to  abandon  their 
original  objects,  and  join  in  the  fight  against  the  artillery  of  the 

October  13. — It  had  been  observed  that  the  French  artillery 
had  been  very  busy  on  the  ramparts  during  the  night,  and  had 
put  new  guns  in  position.  The  garrison  opened  fire  with  the 
same  energy  as  on  the  day  before.  Out  of  regard  for  the  great 
sufferings  of  the  town  a  flag  of  truce  was  sent  into  the  fortress  at 
2  o'clock  in  the  afternoon,  but  all  proposals  for  a  surrender  were 
rejected ;  consequently  the  fire  was  continued. 

October  14. — The  artillery  continued  the  engagement.  The 
breaching  batteries  iDroduced  the  best  results.  On  the  previous 
night  gun-emplacements  Nos.  9  and  10  were  constructed,  and  on 
the  other  hand  batteries  jSTos.  1  and  8  were  removed,  because  the 
fire  of  the  neighbouring  fronts  of  the  fortress  had  been  concentrated 
on  them.  These  gun-emplacements  were  so  situated  that  the  direct 
fire  of  the  works  opposite  to  them  could  do  them  no  serious 

October  15. — During  the  night  the  enemy  had  been  at  work 
at  the  breach  that  had  been  effected,  though  an  incessant  fire 
upon  it  was  kept  up,  and  had  repaired  the  damage,  in  full  expec- 
tation of  an  assault.  The  breach  was  in  fact  pi'acticable,  the 
wall  had  been  demolished  for  a  length  of  45  or  50  paces, 
and  the  earth  of  the  parapet  had  fallen  down,  and  formed  a  ramp 
into  the  dry  ditch.  There  was  no  masonry  counterscarp  there, 
a  circumstance  that  was  so  far  of  importance,  that  it  would  have 
facilitated  an  assault  of  the  breach,  if  necessary.  In  order  to  be 
able,  in  case  of  need,  to  proceed  with  an  abbreviated  regular  attack, 
it  was  intended  to  construct  close  to  La  Buerie  a  portion  of  a 
parallel,  which  might  eventually  have  been  used  in  connection 
with  the  so-called  "  second  batteries,"  and  to  afford  cover  to  the 
assaulting  columns.  This  parallel  was  conveniently  situated,  as 
regarded  the  breach  that  had  been  made  opposite  to  it,  some  800 
paces  off,  the  projected  gun-emplacements  Nos.  9  and  10  being 
about  100  paces  in  rear. 

Arrangements  had  been  already  made  for  the  assault,  when,  on 
the  15th  October,  a  French  flag  of  truce  arrived,  with  a  request 
that  an  officer  might  be  sent  to  negotiate  for  a  surrender  with 
the  Commandant,  Greneral  Denue.  By  order  of  H.R.H.  the  Grrand 
Duke,  Colonel  von  Krensky,  Chief  of  the  general  staff  of  the 
Xlllth  army  corps,  and  the  Count  von  Schlieffen,  Captain  on 
the  general  staff,  were  appointed  to  conduct  these  negotiations  ; 
and  these  officers  returned  at  2  o'clock  in  the  morning  of  the 
16th  October,  to  the  headquarters  at  Venizel,  with  the  capitida- 
tion  concluded.  The  distress  and  want  in  the  town,  whose 
citizens  were  not  prepared  for  a  siege,  had  apparently  hastened 
this  capitulation.     The  fire  from  our  guns  had  caused  great  havoc 

36996.  H 


in  the  place,  and  made  it  almost  impracticable  to  continue  the 
duty  on  the  ramparts.  It  may  be  observed,  in  reference  to 
the  first,  that  the  arsenal  and  other  military  buildings,  as  well  as 
the  large  hospital,  had  been  destroyed  by  fire,  and  with  regard  to 
the  latter,  that  a  very  large  proportion  of  the  guns  on  the  ram- 
parts were  found  to  be  dismounted.  This  state  of  things  and  the 
existence  of  a  practicable  breach  must  have  been  the  immediate 
causes  of  the  request  of  the  commandant  for  a  capitulation. 

On  the  16th  October,  at  2  o'clock  in  the  afternoon,  the 
German  forces  occupied  the  gates,  and  the  garrison,  about  4,000 
strong,  gave  themselves  up  on  the  glacis:  128  guns,  including 
many  pieces  damaged,  without  side-arms,  or  destroyed,  70,000 
shells,  3,000  cwt.  of  powder,  a  military  chest  with  92,000  francs 
(about  £3,680),  and  a  quantity  of  clothing  and  equipment  stores, 
were  the  spoil  of  the  victors.  The  troops  marched  past  in  front 
of  the  cathedral  before  H.E.H.  the  Grand  Duke,  who  placed  him- 
self in  the  square  formed  by  the  soldiers,  caused  them  to  present 
arms,  and  took  possession  of  the  fortress,  with  three  cheers  for 
His  Majesty  the  King.  H.R.H.  the  Grand  Duke  of  IMecklenburg 
thereupon  proceeded  by  Rheims  to  Paris.  In  sjDite  of  the  heav}?^ 
fire  on  both  sides,  the  siege  artillery  had  to  lament  the  loss  of  only 
3  killed  and  27  wounded. 



(plate  ti.) 

After  the  capitulation  of  Metz  the  1st  army  received  orders  to 
invest  the  fortresses  of  Thionville,  Longwy,  Montmedj,  and 
Mezieres,  and  to  overthrow  the  newly  raised  armies  of  the  enemy 
in  the  North-west  of  France. 

At  La  Fere  the  roads  from  Cambray  and  Amiens  meet.  The  place 
itself  lies  on  the  highroad,  which  leads  from  Laon  by  Compiegne 
to  Paris,  and  also  on  the  Crozat  canal,  which  can  be  used  as  a 
communication  by  water  from  Paris  by  Valenciennes  to  Antwerp. 
The  railway  from  Laon  to  Paris  joasses  by  the  place  on  the  south, 
and  goes  thence  westward  to  Tergnier.  From  here  the  lines 
northwards  to  Amiens,  Cambray,  and  Valenciennes  branch  off. 

In  considering  the  important  and  influential  jDosition  of  the 
little  fortress  of  La  Fere,  4  miles(l8|  English  miles)  north  of 
Soissons,  with  regard  to  the  operations  of  the  1st  army.  Baron 
Manteuffel,  general  of  cavalry,  its  commander,  could  have  no 
doubt  that  the  place  ought  to  be  taken  as  soon  as  possible,  since  it 
barred  the  communications  above  mentioned. 

La  Fere  has  5,000  inhabitants,  and  was  formerly  the  seat  of 
an  artillery  school  of  established  reputation,  whence  have  pro- 
ceeded the  most  famous  generals  in  this  branch  of  the  French  army. 
The  place  is  of  no  importance  otherwise.  The  fortifications  of 
La  Fere,  a  fortress  of  the  second  class,  consisted  of  a  high  town- 
wall,  arranged  for  defence,  in  the  manner  of  the  middle  ages.  The 
deep  ditches  in  front  of  this  wall  are  flanked  by  towers — some 
half-round,  some  half-angular — or  by  flanks  in  the  escarp.  On  the 
west,  north,  and  east,  this  town-wall  is  covered  from  direct  fire  by 
an  earthen  parapet  of  weak  profile  and  irregular  trace.  Before 
the  introduction  of  rifled  guns  of  long  range,  and  of  indirect 
breaching-fire,  this  may  have  sufficed,  but  now  the  to^vn-wa^,  in 
spite  of  the  earthen  parapet,  can  be  got  at  from  great  distances. 
The  passages  over  the  Oise  and  the  Crozat  canal  are  covered 
by  a  little  redoubt  made  like  a  bridge-head. 

The  fortress  was  as  well  and  completely  prepared  for  a  siege 
as  one  could  expect.  It  should  particularly  be  observed  that  the 
Oise  was  dammed  up,  and  thus  an  extensive  and  effective  inunda- 
tion was  caused  over  the  meadow-ground,  which  was  favourably 
situated  for  that  purpose.  This  low  ground  is  only  about  a  quarter 
of  a  mile  (2,060  yards)  wide  close  to  the  fortress,  but  becomes 
broader  on  the  north  and  south,  and  extends  to  the  east  and  west 
as  far  as  some  gently  sloping  heights ;  and  these,  more  particularly 

H  2 


on  the  eastward,  pei'mit  a  complete  view  into  the  fortress,  and 
afford  very  well-placed  sites  for  l)atteries,  wlience  the  place  can  be 
effectually  shelled. 

In  order  to  hurry  on  as  much  as  possible  the  investment  of 
La  Fere,  the  4th  infiiutry  brigade,  under  the  command  of  Major- 
Greneral  von  Zglinitzky,  was  sent  on  at  once  from  Metz  by  rail  to 
Soissons,  to  march  thence  by  road,  on  the  14th  November,  to  take 
up  the  ground  before  La  Fere.  The  brigade  comprised  the  4th 
and  8th  East  Prussian  regiments,  a  squadron  of  the  10th 
dragoons,  and  a  heavy  battery  of  the  1st  regiment  of  artillery. 
In  addition  there  were  attached  to  the  force  a  company  of  pioneers 
(engineers),  six  companies  of  garrison  artillery,  with  16  siege-guns 
(four  24-pounders  and  twelve  12-pounders)  and  six  22-centimetre 
mortars.  The  companies  of  artillery  belonged  to  the  2nd,  4th, 
1 1th,  and  guard  regiments  of  garrison  artillery. 

On  the  1  otli  November  La  Fere  was  closely  invested,  and,  after 
repeated  reconnaissances  of  the  fortress,  the  south-east  front  was 
selected  for  attack.  Far  in  advance  of  the  head  of  the  army  to 
which  he  belonged,  surrounded  by  an  irritated  and  excited  popula- 
tion, in  the  midst  of  hostile  forces  in  j)rocess  of  formation,  the  task 
of  Major-Greneral  von  Zglinitzky  v;as  no  easy  one.  Grreat  prudence 
was  required,  for  the  detachment  had  to  be  so  placed  round  the 
fortress  that  it  could  at  any  moment  front  either  way.  In  fact, 
on  the  20th  November  it  was  attacked,  on  the  right  bank  of  the 
Oise,  by  six  companies  of  the  enemy,  with  four  guns,  at  Menessis,  in 
the  country  near  Tergnier.  The  battalion  of  the  5th  regiment, 
stationed  there,  succeeded,  however,  in  repulsing  the  attack,  with 
considerable  loss  to  the  enemy.  Apparently  in  connection  with 
this  fight,  the  garrison  at  the  same  time  attempted  a  sortie,  without 
deriving  therefrom  any  advantage  whatever. 

Meanwhile  the  siege-guns,  mentioned  above,  had  arrived 
before  the  place,  chiefly  from  Soissons,  and  preparations  for  a 
bombardment  were  begun  by  getting  ready  some  materials  for 
the  construction  of  batteries.  The  siege-park  was  formed  at 
Eogecourt,  a  place  situated  on  the  railway,  in  a  valley  nearly 
three-quarters  of  a  mile  (6,178  yards)  east  of  the  fortress. 

On  the  evening  of  the  24th  November  progress  was  made  witli 
the  construction  of  the  batteries,  and  they  were  at  once  armed. 
The  enemy  did  not  interfere  with  this  work,  so  that  on  the 
morning  of  the  25th  November,  at  half-past  eight  o'clock,  the 
fortress  was  bombarded  from  seven  batteries,  which  were 
built  on  the  heights  of  Danizy,  west  of  the  place  of  the 
same  name,  on  both  sides  of  the  road  to  Pont-a-Boussy.  The 
fire  was  directed  not  only  against  the  positions  of  the  enemy's 
artillery  on  the  works,  but  also  against  the  railway  station  lying 
on  the  south  side  of  the  Faubourg  Neuf,  which  had  been  barricaded, 
fortified,  and  rendered  impassable  by  blowing  up  two  bridges.  The 
north  front  was  also  enfiladed,  so  that  with  these  dispositions  it 
was  impossible  to  avoid  at  the  same  time  bombarding  the  further 
portion  of  the  town.  The  garrison  replied  with  vigour  to  the  fire 
of  the  siege-batteries,  which  did  terrible  havoc  in  all  directions. 


They  had  placed  24  guns  on  the  front  attacked,  and  had  changed 
the  positions  of  their  artillery.  Soon  the  town  was  on  fire  in 
several  places,  and  the  distress  there  was  the  greater,  because 
there  were  no  cellars  in  which  the  inhabitants  could  take  refuge. 
The  garrison  was  entirely  without  bombproof  cover  of  any  sort, 
the  only  barracks  in  the  place  were  soon  in  flames,  several 
magazines  caught  fire,  the  gate  of  the  fort  towards  Laon  was  shot 
to  pieces,  and  the  fronts  attacked  were  seriously  damaged.  Under 
these  circumstances  the  commandant.  Captain  Planche,  who  be- 
longed to  the  navy,  after  a  30-hours'  bombardment,  could  hold 
out  no  longer.  He  gave  up  the  fortress  on  the  26th  November, 
and  thus  2,000  prisoners,  chiefly  garde-mobiles,  113  garrison 
guns  of  different  calibres,  with  their  ammunition,  5,000  stand 
of  arms,  and  other  military  stores,  fell  into  our  hands.  As  La 
Fere  contained  an  artillery  arsenal,  large  stores  of  projectiles, 
lead,  iron,  and  timber  also  became  ours  as  spoil  of  war.  The 
entry  into  the  fortress  was  made  on  the  27th  November. 

Under  the  circumstances  it  was  necessary  at  once  to  provide 
La  Fere  with  a  sufficient  garrison,  and  to  put  it  again  in  a  condi- 
tion of  defence,  so  far  as  was  practicable  with  the  means  available. 
For  this  purpose  it  was  of  the  first  imj)ortance  to  repair  the  very 
serious  damage  that  had  been  done  by  the  bombardment  to  the 
ramparts  and  gateways.  The  proximity  of  the  enemy  made  this 
especially  necessary.  In  fact,  on  the  16th  December,  French 
columns  appeared  before  the  fortress,  whence,  to  the  number  of 
3,000  or  4,000  men  they  pushed  on,  crossing  to  the  left  bank  of 
the  Oise  with  the  apparent  intention  of  attacking  Laon.  The 
enemy,  however,  soon  went  back  again  without  attempting  to 
invest  La  Fere,  to  recapture  it,  or  even  to  threaten  this  important 
railway  junction. 



(plate    XIV.) 

Thionville,  or  Diedenhofen,  a  place  with  7,800  inhabitants,  is  the 
most  northern  of  the  French  strongholds  on  the  Moselle,  and  with 
it  commences  the  line  of  fortresses — including  Long-wy,  Mont- 
medy,  Sedan,  Mezieres,  and  Eocroy — constructed  as  a  protection 
against  attacks  through  Luxembourg  and  Belgium. 

The  fortress  was  constructed  at  various  epochs.  It  has  been 
built  from  designs,  partly  by  Vauban,  and  partly  by  Cormontaigne, 
It  consists  of  three  chains  of  defences,  being  the  main  work  and  a 
bridge-head  on  either  side  of  the  Moselle,  and  a  work  called 
'  Le  Fort,'  on  the  right  bank  of  the  arm  of  the  Moselle,  which 
branches  off  to  the  south  of  the  place,  and  is  used  as  a  canal.  On 
the  left  bank  of  the  river  lies  the  main  work  within  the  town, 
which  has  two  gates,  one  on  the  north  and  one  on  the  south, 
leading  respectively  to  Luxembourg  and  Metz,  and  contains  the 
great  arsenal  and  a  considerable  store  of  provisions.  Four  regular 
bastioned  fronts  are  joined  to  the  Moselle  by  connecting  lines, 
which  on  the  lower  side  are  strengthened  by  a  complete  and  inde- 
pendent hornwork. 

Eavelins,  counterguards,  and  a  system  of  lunettes  at  the  foot 
of  the  glacis  give  the  place  considerable  defensive  strength.  The 
gorge  of  the  fortress  along  the  Moselle  is  closed  by  an  indented 
defensible  wall.  A  massive  bridge  of  five  arches  spans  the  Moselle, 
here  loO  paces  (123^  yards)  wide,  and  leads  into  the  fortifications 
of  the  bridge-head,  which  consist  of  a  flat  elongated  crown-work. 
This  work  has  three  bastioned  fronts,  with  counterguards  and 
lunettes  at  the  foot  of  the  glacis  in  front  of  the  flank  bastions. 
The  ditches  are  wet.  Three  bridges,  or  locks,  lead  over  the 
arm  of  the  Moselle  used  as  a  canal,  already  mentioned, 
to  the  right  bank  and  into  the  strong  crown-work  of  Le 
Fort,  there  situated.  This  consists  of  two  bastioned  fronts, 
provided  with  ravelins,  and  with  cunettes  in  the  ditches.  The 
roads  from  Metz,  Bouzonville,  Saarlouis,  and  Sierk-Treves,  debouch 
into  this  work.  Outside  the  fortifications  the  French  held  the 
villages  La  Orange,  Malgrange,  and  others,  situated  in  the  rayon 
of  the  fortress. 

Thionville  commands  the  Moselle,  and  the  important  high- 
roads to  Metz,  Longwy,  Luxembourg,  and  Saarlouis.  Moreover, 
the  place  is  an  important  railway  junction,  for  the  line  leading 

a^aaaaaa au,ua a. hussuuv  sijMeBattenes on22.NovemJ)er 


from  Luxembourg  to  Metz  is  joined  on  the  south  of  Thionville  by 
the  railway  from  Longuion  to  Benning.  Under  these  circum- 
stances ThionYille  was  drawn  into  the  sphere  of  the  military 
operations,  as  soon  as  the  Grerman  armies  crossed  the  frontier.  It 
lay  in  the  district  in  which  tlie  1st  army  operated,  and  as  early  as 
the  8  th  of  August  an  advanced  party  was  sent  against  the  place 
from  the  Vlllth  army  corps.  As  we  were  in  contact  with  the  enemy 
after  the  battles  of  Forbach  and  Spicheren,  and  knew  that  he  had 
gone  to  Metz,  Thionville  was  only  observed  at  first,  and  it  was 
not  till  after  affairs  had  become  more  settled  at  Metz  that  the  for- 
tress was  so  far  invested,  that  all  communication  with  the  place 
was  cut  off.  At  first  the  troops  in  observation  consisted  only  of 
three  squadrons  of  the  2nd  reserve  cavalry  regiment  formed  at 
Deutz,  who  wore  the  uniform  of  cidrassiers,  and  were  armed  with 
lances.  Then  came,  in  passing,  the  landwehr  battalions  of 
Kummer's  reserve  division,  the  2nd  (Thuriugian)  regiment,  the 
94th  (Oldenburg)  regiment  (to  which  two  guns  were  attached), 
the  10th  (Lauenburg)  jager  battalion,  the  3rd  reserve  hussars, 
and  lastly,  the  10th  ulan  regiment  (1st  Posen).  On  the  south  of 
the  fortress  the  communication  between  the  troops  posted  there  was 
maintained  by  a  bridge  between  Ucange  and  Bertrange. 

For  some  time  Lieutenant-Greneral  von  Bothmer  had  the  com- 
mand of  the  troops  before  Thionville,  but  he  rather  observed  than 
invested  it.  The  operations  were  confined  to  watching  the  roads  and 
destroying  the  bridges  and  telegraphs.  The  duty  was  monotonous 
enough  for  some  weeks,  though  there  were  some  bold  and  prudently 
conducted  reconnaissances  made  by  the  garrison,  which  brought  the 
Grerman  force  into  contact  with  their  equally  active  opponents.  A 
fight  of  this  kind  took  place  on  the  13th  September  at  Veymerange, 
west  of  Thionville,  where  the  French  had  gone  ftom  the  fortress  to 
forage.  Numbers  of  franc-tireurs  scoured  the  country,  kept  up 
communication  with  the  unfriendly  inhabitants,  as  well  as  with 
those  of  '  neutrcd '  Luxembourg,  and  were  able  in  many  ways  to 
help  the  garrison  in  Thionville,  and  also  to  give  them  news  of 
their  enemy's  movements.  Thus,  the  French,  on  the  1 7th  Septem- 
ber, with  two  companies  of  infantry  and  a  picket  of  dragoons,  at- 
tacked suddenly  a  train  of  165  wagons  at  Konigsmachern,  between 
Sierk  and  Thionville.  The  train  was  laden  with  oats  for  the 
Prussian  army.  The  weak  escort  of  six  men  were  killed  or  made 
prisoners,  and  the  train  taken  into  the  fortress.  After  fifty-eight 
wagons  had  come  within  the  rayon  of  Thionville,  a  patrol  of  the 
3rd  reserve  hussars  succeeded  in  recapturing  107  wagons  from 
the  enemy,  quite  close  to  the  fortress. 

Almost  at  the  same  time  as  this  attack,  a  railway-train  was  smug- 
gled in  with  provisions,  which  had  been  collected  in  Luxembourg 
and  Bettenburg  ostensibly  for  the  German  army.  For  this  purpose, 
on  the  night  of  the  24th-2oth  Sejjtember,  the  rails  that  had 
been  torn  up  were  relaid  on  the  Thionville  and  Luxembourg  line  ; 
and  the  provision-train  of  sixty  wagons,  containing  meal,  rice,  coffee, 
and  sugar,  was  brought  into  the  fortress,  where  the  garrison  were 


to  receive  this  consignment.  The  Prussian  detachments  on  the 
south  and  west  of  Thionville  heard  of  the  affair,  and  endeavoured 
to  prevent  the  unloading,  but  did  not  succeed  in  doing  so.  The 
whole  business  was  arranged  by  tlie  French  company  of  the  Chemin 
de  Fer  de  I'Est  in  Luxembourg,  who  own  the  section  of  railway  in 

Such  a  lesson  increased  the  watchfulness  of  the  Prussian  troopSy 
and  issuing  from  Sierk,  where  a  Prussian  garrison  was  stationed, 
they  succeeded  in  seizing  twenty  provision-wagons  destined 
for  Thionville,  and  coming  from  Mondorf  and  Bettenburg  in 

On  the  loth  and  18th  October  it  was  necessary  to  send  a  flag 
of  truce  into  the  fortress,  and  Major  von  Prittwitz  and  Captain 
von  Eickstadt,  of  the  cavalry,  went  in  for  this  purpose.  Shots  were 
fired  from  the  fortress  at  both  of  them. 

On  the  17th  October  the  French  made  a  sortie,  but  were 
quickly  driven  back  again  into  the  fortress  by  our  men.  We  had 
fifteen  wounded  ;  the  enemy  carried  off  their  killed  and  vrounded 
with  them  into  the  place. 

After  the  capitulation  of  Metz,  the  14th  infantry  division, 
under  the  command  of  Lieutenant-General  von  Kamecke,  took  up  a 
position  before  Thionville  for  the  complete  investment  of  the  place, 
and  thus  commenced,  in  fact,  the  series  of  sieges  of  the  north- 
eastern fortresses  of  France. 

On  the  9th  and  10th  of  November  the  siege  corps  began  its 
march  from  JNIetz,  in  two  echelons.  Besides  the  infantry  division 
already  mentioned,  it  consisted  of  13  companies  of  garrison 
artillery,  under  the  command  of  Major  Schmelzer,  3  heavy  and  2 
light  batteries  of  the  7th  regiment  of  field  artillery,  7  com- 
panies of  pioneers  (engineers),  including  5  companies  of  garrison 
pioneers  of  different  army  corps,  pontoon  column  No.  7,  and  a 
bridge-train  captured  in  Metz.  The  pioneers  were  under  the 
command  of  Major  Treumann,  commanding  the  7th  battalion  of 

Lieutenant-Geueral  von  Kamecke  placed  his  headquarters  in 
Hayange.  He  caused  an  observatory  to  be  established  at  Chateau - 
Serre,  whence  the  fortress  was  completely  seen  into.  At  Ukange 
a  pontoon-bridge  was  substituted  for  the  ferry  previously  existing, 
and  the  maintenance  of  this  bridge  later  on  gave  much  trouble, 
owing  to  the  lising  of  the  waters  of  the  Moselle. 

On  the  20th  November,  the  materials  required  for  the  con- 
struction of  the  batteries  having  been  previously  brought  up 
between  the  I4th  and  18th  of  November,  and  having  been  pre- 
pared under  the  direction  of  the  technical  troops,  a  matter  of  no 
great  difficulty  in  this  well-timbered  country,  the  actual  construc- 
tion began.  The  work  at  the  batteries  was  partly  masked  by 
plantations,  which  were  only  removed  immediately  before  the  fire 

On  the  19th  November  the  siege-guns,  158  in  number,  were 
all  assembled. 


The  siege-park  consisted  of: — 

36  24-pounders,  10  of  them  short, 
50  1 2-pounders, 

It  tpoundei's  }  °^  ^^'  ^"^^  ^'^^^^'y^ 

8  13-inch  mortars, 

4  1 1-inch    ditto, 
18  8-inch       ditto. 

158  total  number  of  pieces. 

The  main  artillery  park  was  in  Suzauge,  the  smaller  one  in 
Hettange-grande,  and  Immeldange. 

On  the  21st  November  General  von  Zastrow,  of  the  infantry, 
commanding  the  Yllth  army  corps,  arrived  from  Metz  with  his 
staff,  in  order  to  be  present  at  the  then  imminent  bombardment 
of  the  fortress.  For  the  bombardment  the  following  batteries  liad 
been  erected : — 

1 .  On  the  right  bank  of  the  INloselle,  at  the  village  of  Haute- 
Yutz,  four  field  batteries,  three  6-pounder  batteries,  and  one  4- 
pounder  battery ;  at  the  wood  of  Illange,  four  24-pounders  and 
four  1 2-pounders,  four  13-inch  French  mortars,  which  had 
been  brought  from  Metz.  These  batteries  fired  upon  the  bridge- 
head and  north-east  front  of  the  town,  at  a  distance  of  about 
2.500  paces. 

2.  On  the  left  bank  of  the  Moselle,  at  the  farm  of  Gfassion,  four 
short  rifled  24-pounders.  Here  also  four  rifled  mortars  should  have 
been  placed,  but  were  not  put  in  position  for  certain  reasons. 
This  24-pounder  battery  was  established  by  a  detachment  from  the 
artillery  school  of  gunnery  at  Spandau.  At  Chateau-Serre,  a 
24-pounder  4-gun  batter}^ ;  on  the  left  of  the  castle,  a  similar  24- 
pounder  battery.  These  batteries  fired  upon  the  north-west  front 
of  the  town,  at  a  distance  of  about  5,500  paces.  In  the  wood  of 
Veymerange,  a  battery  of  short  24-pounders ;  in  front  of  Vey- 
merange,  two  batteries  of  12-pouuders  for  four  guns  each.  These 
three  batteries  were  for  the  bomljardmeut  of  the  town,  at  about 
4,000  paces'  distance.  At  Maison-rouge,  in  front  of  Hettange- 
grande,  were  three  12-pounder  batteries,  each  for  four  guns. 
These  batteries  fired  upon  the  town  at  3,900  paces  distance,  and 
enfiladed  some  of  the  fronts  of  the  fortress. 

There  were  thus  16  batteries,  with  85  guns,  in  action. 

Major  von  Eynatten  commanded  the  artillery,  Colonel  Eiedel 
the  engineers.  The  latter  had  originally  been  ordered  to  Verdun, 
but  that  fortress  capitulated  on  the  very  day  of  his  arrival. 

Up  to  the  day  last  mentioned,  only  the  ridges  had  been  occu- 
pied round  the  fortress,  which  lies  with  its  small  towers  deep  in 
the  valley  of  the  Moselle.  On  the  night  of  the  21st-22nd 
November,  however,  the  villages  and  farms  lying  in  front  were 
taken — namely,  the  farm  of  Grassion,  Terville  with  the  adjoining 
mill  of  St.  Marie,  Haute  and  Basse  Gruentrange,  La  Grange,  and 
Malgrange,  St.  Francois  and  St.  Anna.     At  the  same  time,  in  very 


bad  weather,  a  j^ioneer  company  connected  the  churchyard  at 
Terville  with  the  village,  by  a  trench  with  a  salient  angle,  in  order 
that  those  in  the  fortress  might,  by  seeing  the  earthworks,  be  con- 
vinced of  the  gravity  of  the  situation. 

The  guarding  of  the  low  ground  by  the  Moselle  was  undertaken, 
on  the  left  bank,  by  two  squadrons  of  the  2nd  reserve  cavalry 
regiment;  on  the  right  by  some  squadrons  of  the  15th  regiment 
of  hussars. 

On  the  22nd  November,  at  7  o'clock  in  the  morning,  the  bom- 
bardment began  in  thick  miny  weather,  rendering  it  difficult  to  take 
aim.  After  a  short  time  the  artillery  of  the  fortress  also  opened 
fire.  The  prefecture,  the  arsenal,  three  wings  of  a  large  barrack, 
the  large  riding-school,  and  the  town-hall  became,  one  after 
another,  a  prey  to  the  flames.  The  conflagrations  lasted  through- 
out the  night.  As  the  Moselle  happened  to  be  very  high,  some  of 
the  streets  and  the  cellars  were  under  water,  and  it  was  impossible 
for  the  citizens  to  take  refuge  in  the  latter.  Eegardless  of  the 
destructive  fire  of  the  siege-guns,  the  defence  of 'the  place  was 
maintained  with  energy,  for  the  first  24  hours,  by  the  artillery  of 
the  garrison ;  and  for  this  the  commandant  of  the  place,  Colonel 
Turnier,  is  deserving  of  credit.  Longer  than  this  the  defenders 
could  not  contend  against  the  increasing  severity  of  the  bombard- 
ment, as  the  garrison  had  to  be  employed  almost  solely  in  ex- 
tinguishing the  fires  in  the  town.  The  rate  of  fire  of  the  siege- 
batteries  was  ordered  to  be  reduced  to  one  round  every  half-hour 
by  day,  and  one  round  every  hour  by  night. 

On  the  night  of  the  22nd-23rd  November,  the  artillery  of  the 
garrison  set  fire  to  the  village  of  Beauregard,  the  great  establish- 
ment of  Jesuits,  and  the  rendezvous  of  the  franc-tireurs  at  the 
time  of  the  investment,  and  thus  prevented  its  occupation  by  the 
Prussian  troops,  which  was  to  have  taken  place  that  very  night. 

On  the  23rd  November,  at  2  p.m.,  the  tricolour  was  replaced  by 
the  white  fiag  on  the  church-tower.  The  besiegers  looked  upon 
this  as  a  sign  that  a  capitulation  was  desired.  On  the  side  of  the 
attack,  therefore,  fire  ceased.  As  no  flag  of  truce  came  from  the 
fortress,  Lieutenant-Greneral  von  Kamecke  sent  one  of  his  adjutants 
into  the  place.  He  returned,  however,  with  a  request  from  the 
place  that  the  women  and  children  might  be  allowed  to  leave  the 
fortress.  Under  the  circumstances  this  request  could  not  be  en- 
tertained, and  the  bombardment  was  therefore  resumed  at  half- 
past  7  in  the  evening,  and  lasted  till  10  o'clock  in  the  morning  of 
the  24th  November.  About  2  o'clock  in  the  afternoon,  after 
bombardment  for  52  hours,  the  fortress  capitulated,  on  the  terms 
agreed  upon  at  Sedan.  On  the  Prussian  side  the  capitulation  was 
concluded  by  Major  the  Baron  von  Hilgers,  of  the  general  staff. 

On  the  25th  November,  at  11  o'clock  in  the  forenoon,  the  place 
was  given  up.  First  the  gates,  powder-magazines,  and  mines  were 
taken  possession  of,  and  then  the  French  garrison  marched  out,  and 
laid  down  their  arms  in  front  of  the  gate  of  Saarlouis.  Thence  the 
garrison  were  sent  off,  in  three  detachments,  to  the  South-G-erman 
fortresses,  as  prisoners  of  war. 


The  loss  iu  men  on  both  sides  was  small.  The  Prussians  lost 
only  two  killed  and  eight  wounded,  the  French  apparently  only  a 
few  killed  and  40  wounded,  whilst  of  the  civil  population  no  one 
was  seriously  hurt.  The  losses  entailed  on  the  latter  by  the  bom- 
bardment were,  however,  very  heavy,  and  were  estimated  at 
3,000,000  francs  (^120,000). 

Besides  the  4,000  prisoners,  including  some  national  guards, 
200  guns,  with  great  quantities  of  other  warlike  stores,  were 
taken.  It  should  be  mentioned  that  the  occupation  of  Thionville 
led  to  the  discovery  of  unquestionable  evidence  of  the  violation 
of  neutrality  by  the  Grrand  Duchy  of  Luxembourg. 

In  conclusion,  we  may  add,  as  a  historical  note,  that  Thion- 
ville was  captm-ed  by  surprise  by  France  in  1558,  just  as  were 
Metz  and  Strasburg.  Subsequently  it  was  given  up  to  the 
Spaniards,  and  came  first  definitely  under  French  rule  in  1659. 

With  this  siege,  however,  Thionville  has  once  more  become 



(plate  XV.) 

The  fortress  is  situated  on  a  conical  hill,  sloping  away  from  it  on 
three  sides.  To  the  north  the  hill  is  joined  on  to  a  ridge  of  very- 
great  importance  defensively,  which,  at  the  village  of  Thonelle, 
attains  its  greatest  breadth  and  height  above  the  bottom  of  the 
valley  of  the  Chiers.  That  river  here  receives  several  mountain 
streams.  Eound  the  fortress  the  ground  is  of  more  or  less  mili- 
tary importance,  generally  covered  with  wood,  and  there  are  also 
hills  difficult  of  access,  which  slope  down  steeply  to  small  water- 
courses. Between  this  ridge  and  the  hill  on  which  the  fortress  is 
situated  the  ground  falls  rapidly,  and  at  the  point  of  greatest  de- 
pression the  roads  from  Paris  to  Luxembourg  and  from  Sedan  to 
Metz  cross.  The  railway,  Sedan-Thionville-Metz,  passes  under 
this  depression  of  the  ground,  through  a  tunnel  about  1,200  paces 
987^  yards)  long.  Although  the  fortress  was  constructed  as  far 
back  as  the  middle  of  the  sixteenth  century,  it  was  developed  into 
its  present  form,  and  very  much  strengthened,  in  the  time  of  Louis 
XIV.,  under  the  direction  of  Marshal  Vauban.  The  defences  then 
existing  consisted  principally  of  a  high  scarp-wall  with  many  pro- 
jections, and  provided  with  machicoulis  and  other  defensiv^e  ar- 
rangements of  that  description  ;  and  partly  around  this  wall  was 
added  the  existing  enceinte,  with  eight  i]*regular  bastions  and  six 
ravelins,  in  precise  conformity  with  the  edge  of  the  plateiui,  and 
not  in  accordance  with  any  definite  system  of  fortification.  Tlie 
great  height  of  the  profile  and  the  situation  of  the  fortress,  on  a 
rocky  hill,  200  feet  high,  impracticable  for  troops,  give  the  place 
its  strength,  and  render  it  secure  from  any  sudden  attack  in  force. 
There  are  no  detached  works. 

The  town  of  JNIontmedy,  witli  2,500  inhabitants,  is  divided 
into  the  lower  town,  which  lies  in  the  valley;  and  the  upper  town, 
which  is  enclosed  by  the  mountain  fortress.  In  the  latter  there  are 
five  barracks  for  800  men,  two  powder-magazines,  and  the  arsenal. 
The  lower  town,  also  called  Medybas,  is  surrounded  by  a  crenel- 
lated wall,  which,  being  uncovered  on  almost  all  sides,  can  be  easily 
breached.  The  hospital,  and  a  cavalry  barrack  for  100  men,  witli 
stabling  for  100  horses,  are  here  situated. 

By  the  3rd  September,  after  the  battle  of  Sedan,  the  head  of 
a  column  of  the  Eoyal  Prussian  guard  corps,  under  the  command 
of  Captain  Zimmerman,  of  the  3rd  ulan  regiment  of  the  guard, 
had  arrived  in  the  immediate  neighbourhood  of  the  fortress.  That 


b.h  b b,b.i,b,b,6.1'rwsslu.ii    Sieae Hictlefif.^-  t>n^  i2JJec^n\LeT- 
c,  oj'riisjian  Field  JinW^nf^ otv  I2'9«t>«rwbeir 



officer  caused  the  commandant  to  be  summoned  to  surrender,  by 
Lieutenant  von  Jagow,  but  the  demand  was  refused.  In  riding 
thither  the  trumpeter  with  the  flag  of  truce  was  shot.  This  was 
immediately  reported  to  the  Commander-in-Chief  of  the  army  of 
the  Meuse,  under  whose  orders  the  guard  corps  was.  The  com- 
mander-in-Chief, in  consequence,  ordered  the  guard  corps,  with  a 
brigade  of  infantry  and  the  necessary  cavalry  and  artillery,  to 
make  an  attempt  to  capture  the  fortress.  The  two  heights,  on  the 
north  and  north-east  of  the  place,  afforded  suitable  positions  for 
the  artillery,  as  they  lay  nearly  as  high  as  the  fortress ;  but  for 
field-guns,  which  were  almost  the  only  ones  available,  the  distances 
were  too  great  for  obtaining  thoroughly  satisfactory  results.  The 
bombardment  was  to  take  place  chiefly  from  the  north,  from  seven 
batteries  of  the  brigade  of  artillery  of  the  guard.  These  were 
placed  as  far  as  possible  behind  natural  cover,  and  swept  both  the 
town  and  the  fortress  in  the  direction  of  their  greatest  length. 

On  the  5th  September,  at  10  a.m.,  the  batteries  opened  fire  on 
the  fortress.  Soon  the  sub-prefecture  and  the  adjoining  part  of 
the  town  were  in  flames.  About  11  o'clock  the  mayor  of  Thonelle 
was  sent  by  the  officer  commanding  the  artillery  brigade  of  the 
guard.  Prince  Kraft  zu  Hohenlohe-Ingelfingen,  to  the  commandant. 
Colonel  Eeboul,  to  demand  a  surrender  of  the  fortress  within  an 
horn-  and  a  half.  The  reply  given  to  the  mayor  was  the  same  as 
that  made  to  the  bearer  of  the  flag  of  truce  on  the  j^revious  day. 
Upon  this  the  artillery  fight  began  afresh  on  both  sides.  After 
some  hours  it  was  broken  ofi"  on  the  side  of  the  Prussians.  The 
Prussians  lost  four  men  and  one  horse.  As  by  these  proceedings 
satisfaction  had  been  obtained  for  the  breach  of  international  law 
in  shooting  the  trumpeter  with  the  flag  of  truce,  and  as,  more- 
over, it  was  manifest  that  the  fortress  could  not  be  taken  without 
more  preparation  of  a  special  character,  the  Prussians  resumed 
their  march  on  Paris.  The  French  had  three  killed  and  15 

At  this  period  it  was  not  intended  to  take  the  trouble  to  watch 
and  invest  the  fortress,  which  lay  off  the  line  of  marcli  and  of  the 
operations  of  the  Grerman  armies.  Under  these  circumstances, 
the  commandant  was  able  to  send  away  part  of  the  garrison  to  the 
French  army  of  the  North,  and  to  carry  on  the  duties  of  the  fortress 
with  almost  national  guards  alone.  Supported  by,  and  in  com- 
munication with,  tlie  people  of  the  country,  the  commandant  did 
not  fail  to  prove  troublesome  to  the  Prussian  lines  of  communica- 
tion that  lay  nearest  to  him.  In  consequence,  many  encounters 
took  place  with  the  2nd  and  4th  companies  of  the  65th  regiment, 
which  were  detached  from  the  investing  corps  before  Verdun  to 
protect  the  post  at  Stenay,  between  the  former  place  and  Sedan. 
After  their  departure,  on  the  7th  October,  the  commandant  of 
the  fortress  made  a  sudden  attack  on  Stenay.  For  this  purpose 
about  600  men  of  the  garrison  of  Montmedy  were  sent  out  on  the 
night  of  the  15th-16th  of  October,  and  about  6  o'clock  in 
the  morning  they  arrived  at  Stenay,  only  1|  miles  (8:^^  English 


miles)  distant  from  the  fortress.  Here  a  street-fight  commenced. 
Although  the  garrison  in  Stenay  was  turned  out  very  quickly,  yet 
the  French  succeeded,  with  the  assistance  of  some  confederates  in 
the  place,  in  carrying  off  to  Montmedy  the  staff-officer  of  the 
post,  with  his  adjutant,  two  artillery  officers  who  happened  to 
be  in  Stenay,  an  officer  of  the  intendant  with  100  men  of  the 
Briihl  landwehr  battalion,  40  of  the  Borken  landwehr  battalion, 
and  40  sick,  and  in  addition  a  Prussian  military  chest,  containing 
10,000  francs  (ig400). 

It  was  not  till  after  the  capitulation  of  Metz,  and  almost  at 
the  same  time  with  the  close  blockade  of  Thionville,  that  Mont- 
medy was  invested  by  the  27th  brigade,  under  the  command  of 
Colonel  von  Pannewitz,  and  further  by  the  74th  (1st  Hanoverian) 
regiment,  the  39th  (Lower  Ehenish)  fusiliers,  the  7th  West- 
phalian  jager  battalion,  and  some  cavalry  and  artillery. 

In  occupying  the  positions  round  Montmedy  on  the  16th 
November,  the  1st  and  2nd  battalions  of  the  74th  regiment 
became  engaged  at  Chauvency  and  Thonelle  with  the  French 
infantry,  who  were  driven  back  into  the  fortress,  lea\dng  behind 
86  unwounded  prisoners. 

The  siege-park  told  off  for  the  bombardment  of  Montmedy 
was  almost  the  same  in  the  calibre  of  guns,  and  also  as  regards 
the  troops  employed  and  the  commanding  officers,  as  was  engaged 
at  Thionville.  From  that  place  they  were  sent  as  far  as  Longuyon 
by  rail,  and  thence  by  march  along  the  road  to  Montmedy.  The 
parks  were  in  several  places.  The  chief  park  was  at  Juvigny  sur 
Loison,  with  supplementary  parks  at  Bazailles  and  Chauvency,  to 
the  south  and  west  of  Montmedy  respectively. 

On  the  28th  November  Lieutenant-Greneral  von  Kamecke 
arrived,  with  the  rest  of  the  14th  division,  exclusive  of  a  portion 
detached  from  before  Montmedy,  to  observe  the  fortress  of  Longwy. 
Headquarters  were  in  Louppi.  Meanwhile  the  technical  prepara- 
tions for  the  bombardment  were  commenced. 

On  the  nth  December  the  parks  were  complete.  In  the 
meantime  the  pioneers  (engineers)  constructed  roads  and  huts 
for  the  pickets,  and  were  employed  on  railway  and  telegraph 

On  the  9th,  10th,  and  11th  December  the  batteries  were  con- 
structed under  very  difficult  circumstances,  the  enemy  endeavour- 
ing to  interrupt  the  work  by  the  fire  of  artillery  and  of  chassepots. 
At  1 1  o'clock  in  the  evening  the  infantry  took  possession  of  the 
"\dllages  of  Thonne-les-Pres,  Frenoy,  Ville  Claye,  and  Ire-le-Pres. 
In  the  night  of  the  llth-12th  December  the  arming  of  the  batte- 
ries was  taken  in  hand,  a  task  that  was  very  difficult,  owing  to  the 
badness  of  the  roads  and  the  hard-frozen  snow.  The  batteries, 
except  the  rifled  mortar-battery,  were  situated  at  distances  of  2,000 
to  3,800  paces  from  the  fortress,  on  the  heights  at  Yille  Claye 
and  Gerauvaux.  The  mortar-battery,  however,  was  in  the  valley 
close  behind  the  village  of  Vigneul  and  the  Bois  de  Moncey.  The 
siege-pieces  employed  were  : — 


8  long  rifled  24-poimders, 
10  short  rifled  24-poimders, 

4  rifled  mortars, 
20  rifled  12-pounders. 

Total ...  42  siege-pieces. 

In  addition  there  were  twenty  6-poimder  field-guns,  and  with 
these  pieces  a  heavy  field-battery  of  the  7th  regiment  of  artillery, 
and  another  of  the  4th  regiment  of  artillery,  were  posted  on  the 
heights  to  the  north  of  the  fortress. 

On  the  12th  December,  at  half-past  7  in  the  morning,  the 
weather  being  clear,  fire  was  commenced  from  all  the  batteries, 
which  had  been  armed  altogether  with  60  pieces.  The  west  front 
of  the  fortress  was  the  chief  object  of  the  fire.  Orders  were 
given  that  by  day  each  gun  should  expend  five  rounds,  and  each 
mortar  three  rounds  in  an  hour,  and  by  night  each  gun  and  each 
mortar  one  round.  The  special  object  ordered  to  be  aimed  at 
by  the  batteries  of  the  attack  were  the  west  front  above  mentioned, 
certain  flanking  casemates,  the  powder-magazine,  the  hollow  tra- 
verses, the  gate  of  the  fortress  leading  to  the  town,  and  the  fortress 
itself.  After  a  short  time  the  garrison  replied  very  briskly,  and 
although  several  guns  were  silenced  on  the  front  of  attack,  the 
enemy  kept  up  a  well-directed  fire  till  the  evening,  but  then  the 
fire  entirely  ceased.  The  battery  armed  with  five  short  rified  24- 
pounders,  on  the  height  and  in  front  of  the  wood  of  Grerauvaux, 
was  the  most  heavily  cannonaded.  Good  results  were  not  to  be  ex- 
pected from  the  siege  artillery,  for  towards  noon  heavy  rain  came 
on,  which  lasted  throughout  the  day  and  night. 

On  the  13th  December  fire  was  continued,  at  a  slow  rate,  only 
one  round  each  hour  being  fired,  because  a  thick  fog  prevailed, 
and  made  it  impossible  to  see  the  object  aimed  at.  The  effect 
could  not  be  ascertained,  except  that  towards  evening  the  town 
was  on  fire.  The  practice  of  the  artillery  had  produced  a  fright- 
ful effect  on  the  buildings  of  the  place  and  on  the  fortifications. 
Among  the  latter,  some  iron  splinter-proofs,  apjDarently  con- 
structed of  railway  metals,  and  built  up  with  masonry,  were 
entirely  destroyed.  Hardly  a  house  remained  uninjm-ed,  and  the 
public  buildings  were  for  the  most  part  destroyed.  About  8 
o'clock  in  the  evening  the  order  was  given  to  cease  fire,  as  negoti- 
ations were  entered  into  for  a  surrender.  The  commandant, 
having  previously  refused  to  capitulate,  now,  after  36  hours'  bom- 
bardment, said  that  he  wished  to  surrender.  He  sent  for  this 
purpose  the  second  in  command  to  Ire-le-Sec,  whither  also  went 
Major  the  Baron  von  Hilgers,  of  the  Prussian  general  staff.  At 
2  o'clock  in  the  morning  the  terms  of  capitulation  were  concluded, 
and  their  ratification  took  place  by  8  o'clock. 

On  the  14th  December,  at  2  o'clock  in  the  afternoon,  the 
fortress  was  given  up,  and  the  Prussian  troops  marched  in.  From 
the  60  pieces  in  action,  about  3,000  rounds  had  been  fired  alto- 
gether. The  effect  produced  by  the  rifled  guns,  and  chiefly  by 
the  rifled  mortars,  had  hastened  the  capitulation,  and  had  caused 


such  devastation,  that  a  longer  resistance  of  the  enemy's  artillery 
by  the  fortress  was  impossible.  The  loss  of  the  besiegers  amounted 
to  12  wounded  ;  that  of  the  French  to  some  30  or  40  killed,  and 
50  wounded. 

With  the  taking  of  Montmedy,  there  fell  into  the  hands  of  the 
victors  3,000  prisoners,  65  guns,  of  which  21  were  rifled,  and  several 
well-filled  magazines;  besides  which  4 Prussian  officers  with 237 men 
were  liberated  from  captivity.  General  Aon  Kamecke  had  made 
the  commandant  answerable  with  his  head  for  the  lives  and  health 
of  the  prisoners,  after  he  had  previously  refused  curtly  to  exchange 
them.  The  French  had  blown  up  the  railway  tunnel.  By  the 
fall  of  Montmedy  the  railway  line  from  Thionville  to  Sedan  was 
opened  for  the  Grerman  armies  before  Paris,  and  operating  in  the 
North-west  of  France,  and,  moreover,  a  sto])  was  put  to  the  move- 
ments of  the  franc-tireurs,  who  had  their  headquarters  in  the 

Plate  XVI 

Frwssicmi  Sie^e  Soytteries 
JV"  1-8  IiTtfCladb.CcnMitefi  ii^B^cachet-Satrtern  ,f 
"  1-irjiEtmiUeuse.f  Batteries 

.uit,,ijj,^iv(ixrifji  and/  rniichcs g    I'eoe   ntyot 

rrcr     S  IV!  E 



(plate  xyi.) 

This  fortress  is  the  point  of  junction  of  the  roads  from  Thionville 
and  Metz,  from  the  Belgian  fortress  of  Arlon  and  from  Luxembm^g, 
and  from  Verdun  and  Paris.  It  also  bars  the  junction  line  con- 
necting the  railway  from  Thionville  to  Mezieres  with  that  from 
Luxembourg  to  Arlon. 

The  occupation  of  the  place  only  became  desirable  after 
Thionville,  Sedan,  Montmedy,  and  Mezieres  had  been  taken,  as  it 
appeared  necessary  then  to  establish  communication  between 
Northern  Lorraine  and  the  neighbouring  country,  and  to  put  an 
end  to  the  movements  of  the  franc-tireurs  in  that  region,  which 
were  much  facilitated  by  the  fortress.  The  siege  of  Longwy  was 
to  be  regarded  as  the  final  operation  against  the  north-east  line  of 
French  fortresses,  excepting  Givet  and  Charlemont. 

Longwy  contains  about  3,500  inhabitants,  and  is  situated  on 
the  right  bank  of  the  Chiers.  It  is  divided  into  an  upper  and  a 
lower  town,  the  latter  being  in  the  valley,  the  former  on  the 
plateavi  in  the  fortress.  The  work  was  built  by  Marshal  Vauban 
in  1680,  as  a  fortified  place  opjDosite  Luxemburg. 

The  Chiers  receives  close  to  the  fortress  several  mountain 
streams,  which  enclose  on  the  east  and  south  of  the  place  a  tract 
of  wooded  broken  ground  wdth  deep  valleys.  Through  the  plateau 
of  Mexy  on  the  south-east  passes  the  road  to  Thionville,  which, 
with  several  windings,  descends  the  slope  of  the  hill  and  goes 
through  the  lower  town  into  the  fortress.  The  slopes  of  the  hill 
there  are  very  steep,  and  off  the  road  are  scarcely  practicable,  and 
thus  form  a  serious  obstacle  to  the  approach  of  the  fortress,  added 
to  which  the  defiles  on  the  roads  are  generally  effectively  com- 
manded by  the  guns  of  the  fortress.  The  road  to  Verdun  passes 
over  a  plateau  broken  by  numerous  undulations,  and  the  village 
of  Cosnes  may  be  considered  its  central  point.  Here,  as  well  as  on 
the  plateau  of  Mexy,  are  many  favourable  positions  for  artillery, 
while  the  ground  is  such  as  to  permit  of  approaches  b}'  sap  only 
in  the  immediate  neighbourhood  of  the  fortress,  within  a  distance 
from  the  foot  of  the  glacis  of  about  GOO  to  800  paces. 

The  fortress  of  Longwy  is  a  bastioned  hexagon,  with  a  circum- 
ference of  2,340  metres  (2,563  yards),  and  is  provided  with  well- 
revetted  dry  ditches.  The  enceinte  is  in  its  essentials  laid  out 
according  to  Vauban's  first  system,  and  provided  with  the  outsvorks, 
ravelins,  and  caponiers  belonging  to  that  system.     On  the  fronts 

86996.  I 


towards  the  plateau  of  Cosnes,  the  front  of  attack,  three  lunettes 
on  a  lower  level  are  thrown  out  at  the  foot  of  the  glacis.  A  large 
hornwork  covers  the  north-east  front  of  the  fortress,  and  covers  the 
defile  of  the  road  there,  and  the  extensive  trough-shaped  valley  of 
the  Chiers. 

Longwy,  being  close  to  the  Belgian  and  Luxemburg  frontiers, 
and  remote  from  the  scene  of  the  greater  operations  of  the  war, 
had  but  a  secondary  influence  on  the  course  of  those  operations ; 
and  hence  only  small  detachments  passing  by  came  into  its 
neighbourhood  before  the  investment  and  bombardment.  Never- 
theless, their  appearance,  and  the  expectation  of  a  bombard- 
ment, induced  the  commandant.  Colonel  Massaroly,  to  issue  pro- 
clamations to  the  inliabitants,  who  were  required  to  assist  in  the 
•defence  of  the  place  or  to  leave  it.  In  consequence  of  this,  many 
of  them  crossed  over  to  the  neutral  country  of  Belgium. 

While  the  Prussians  were  employed  in  the  sieges  of  Montmedy 
and  Mezieres,  they  confined  themselves  to  observing  the  place 
with  small  detachments,  and  occasionally  operating  against  the 
franc-tireurs.  These  were  in  constant  communication  with  the 
fortress,  and  kept  the  commandant  informed  of  all  the  military 
movements  that  took  place  in  the  country  round.  Acting  on 
news  thus  received,  he  endeavoured,  with  two  battalions,  on  the 
night  of  the  26th  to  27th  December  to  carry  off  the  Prussian 
detachment  at  Tellancourt,  on  the  road  to  Verdun,  and  at  Frenois 
la  Montague  to  the  south  of  it.  The  enterprise  was  much  facili- 
tated by  the  favourable  formation  of  the  ground,  and  moreover 
the  Prussians  were  actually  surprised ;  but,  nevertheless,  the 
attempt  failed  entirely,  and  the  French  were  quickly  obliged  to 
fall  back  on  the  fortress,  taking  with  them  a  Prussian  officer  and 
two  men. 

The  investment  of  the  fortress  was  rendered  very  difficult  by 
the  immediate  neighbom'hood  of  the  frontier,  especially  on  the 
north-west,  where  it  is  only  half  a  mile  (2^  English  miles) 
distant.  The  government  of  Belgium  arranged  that  the  frontier 
there  should  be^  closely  occupied.  The  investing  detachment, 
consisting  of  infantry  and  cavalry  of  the  landwehr,  and  barely 
sufficient  as  regarded  its  strength  and  composition  for  the  purj)ose, 
was  at  first  under  the  command  of  Major  the  Count  von  Schmettau; 
but,  by  degrees,  the  whole  of  the  troops  told  off  for  the  siege 
arrived,  under  the  command  of  Colonel  von  Cosel,  for  the  observa- 
tion of  the  fortress,  and  then  Colonel  von  Krensky,  chief  of  the 
general  staff  of  the  Xlllth  army  corps,  took  the  chief  command. 
He  fixed  his  head-quarters  at  first  in  Longuyon,  and  subsequently 
in  Cons  la  Grandeville. 

The  siege  corps  had  a  total  strength  of — 

11  battalions  of  infantry,  namely,  the  landwehr  battalions 
of  Koslin,  Glatz,  Miinster,  Oftpeln,  Neutomysl,  Schrimm, 
Ostrowo,  Eawicz,  Anclam,  and  Schievelbein; 
2  squadrons  of  cavalry  ; 

2  reserve  field-batteries  of  the  11th  Hessian  regiment  of 
artillery ; 


7^  companies  of  the  garrison  artillery  of  the  guard  and  of 
the  4th,  7th,  and  8th  regiments  of  garrison  artillery; 
4^  companies  of  garrison  pioneers  (engineers)  of  the  1st, 
Ilnd,  Ilird,  and  IXth  army  corps. 

Major  "Wolf  acted  as  commander  of  the  siege  artillery,  and  the 
direction  of  the  engineering  works  was  entrusted  to  Colonel  Schott, 
of  the  engineer  staff. 

The  energetic  commandant  of  the  fortress,  Colonel  Massaroly, 
a  Gorsican  by  birth,  impeded  the  advance  of  the  siege  corps  to  its 
position  before  the  fortress  as  much  as  he  could.  Many  engage- 
ments of  reconnoitring  parties  and  of  the  outposts  accordingly 
took  place,  and  the  positions  taken  up  had  generally  to  be 
secured  by  field  fortifications,  barricades,  and  similar  means 
against  further  attacks  of  the  French.  Thus  encounters  took 
place  at  Herserange,  only  half  a  mile  (2^  English  miles)  from 
Longwy,  in  a  wooded,  deep,  broken  country  on  the  side  of  the 
valley  of  the  Chiers,  and  at  the  railway  station  on  the  south  of  the 
fortress,  as  well  as  at  other  places,  generally  with  the  object  of 
impediug  the  works  and  dispositions  of  the  Prussians.  a 

By  this  activity  the  vigilant  garrison  obviously  put  many 
difficulties  in  the  way  of  the  execution  of  the  necessary  technical 
reconnaissances  by  the  artillery  and  engineers,  and  delayed  those 
operations,  which  were,  moreover,  not  particularly  easy  to  perform 
on  account  of  the  broken  character  of  the  ground.  Nevertheless, 
they  had  to  be  undertaken  in  order  to  decide  upon  the  front  of 
attack.  The  decision,  on  this  point,  was  to  attack  the  fronts  Y. 
and  VI.,  and  eventually  to  force  a  way  into  bastion  VI.,  which  was 
conveniently  situated  for  the  final  operations  of  the  attack.  This 
choice  was  made  having  regard  not  merely  to  the  fortifications, 
but  also  to  the  advantages  above  mentioned  of  the  ground  in  that 
quarter,  and  especially  to  the  fact  that  the  right  wing  of  the 
works  of  attack  would  thus  rest  in  security  on  the  steep  slopes  of 
the  valley  of  the  Chiers. 

The  transport  of  the  siege  park  for  the  artillery,  and  of  the 
materials  and  intrenching  tools  for  the  construction  of  the  bat- 
teries and  trenches,  and  of  the  special  equipment  necessary  for 
the  attack,  was  troublesome  and  tedious,  owing  to  the  situation 
of  Longwy  off  the  main  road.  It  was  necessary  first  of  all  to  re- 
construct the  railway  from  Longuyon  to  Cons  la  Grandeville,  a 
mile  (4f  English  miles)  to  the  south  of  the  fortress,  where  it  was 
intended  to  establish  the  principal  siege  park.  This  was  done 
satisfactorily  and  quickly  by  the  pioneers  (engineers).  The  arrange- 
ment mentioned  was  the  most  advantageous  for  the  park,  on  account 
of  the  broken  ground  there  in  front  of  the  fortress,  but  the  arming 
of  the  batteries  with  the  guns  and  the  conveyance  of  the  ammuni- 
tion to  them  were  matters  of  extraordinary  difficulty.  Bad,  steep 
roads,  the  ground  made  slippery  by  frost,  and  a  fall  of  snow,  all 
contributed  to  this  difficulty.  For  the  execution  of  the  works  of 
the  engineers  there  were  two  depots  of  tools  established,  one  at 
Villers  la  Montague,  and  one  behind  Villers  la  Chevre. 

I  2 


The  siege  park  was  comprised  of 

\l  24-PO^^nders  1  p^.^^^^.^^  ^^.^^^^^ 
33  12-poundersJ 

4  2  7 -centimetre  mortars  "| 
14  22-centimetre  mortars  j- French  ordnance 
12  15-centimetre  mortars  J 

6  mitrailleurs ; 

Total  86  pieces  of  ordnance  besides  field  guns. 

The  artillery  was  brought  from  the  stores  of  several  fortresses, 
among  others  from  Thionville,  Metz,  and  Montmedy.  At  the  same 
time,  a  part  of  the  materials  for  the  batteries  was  supplied  from 
those  places,  whilst  the  remainder  had  to  be  prepared  in  the 
well-wooded  country  round,  and  brought  up  thence  with  great 

The  batteries  were  commenced  without  waiting  for  the  arrival 
of  the  last  guns,  which  were  delaj^ed  on  account  of  the  small  use 
that  could  be  made  of  the  railway.  Besides  which  there  could  be 
no  doubt  that  under  the  existing  circumstances  the  batteries  would 
be  but  slowly  built,  both  on  account  of  the  difficult  character  of 
the  soil,  and  of  the  activity  displayed  by  the  enemy.  In  no  case 
would  it  be  possible  to  build  the  batteries  in  a  single  night,  as  was 
done  elsewhere.  Before  the  batteries  could  be  commenced,  other 
technical  works  had  to  be  executed.  Among  these  the  most  im- 
portant were,  the  making  of  a  road  over  the  jNIont  des  Chats,  and 
the  laying  of  lines  of  telegraph  from  Longuyon  to  the  head-quarters 
and  to  Villers  la  Montague.  It  was  considered  necessar}'-  also  to 
destroy  the  railway  to  Luxembourg,  by  tearing  up  the  rails  and 
blowing  up  a  bridge. 

By  the  16th  January,  it  became  practicable  to  proceed  with  the 
batteries,  and  their  construction  was  completed  in  three  nights, 
except  some  that  were  finislied  subsequently.  A  peculiar  mode  of 
construction  was  adopted  to  obtain  more  cover  and  to  reduce  the 
chance  of  discovery,  and  this  consisted  in  making  the  parapets  at 
the  flanks  with  gentle  slopes  which  could  scarcely  be  noticed 
at  a  distance.  The  batteries  were  constructed,  in  the  following 
order : — 

Battery  No.  1.  Enfilading  and  dismounting  battery,  3  24- 
pounders,  against  fronts  VI.,  V.,  IV. 

Battery  No.  2.  Enfilading  and  dismounting  battery,  3  24- 
pounders,  against  fronts  V.,  IV.,  III. 

Battery  No.  3.  Dismounting  and  ricochet  battery,  4  24- 
pounders,  against  bastion  V. 

Battery  No.  4.  Dismounting  and  ricochet  battery,  4  12- 
pounders,  against  ravelins,  VI.,  V. 

Battery  No.  5.  Dismounting  and  ricochet  battery,  4  12- 
pounders,  against  bastion  VI. 

Battery  No.  6.  Dismounting  battery,  4  12-pounders,  against 
bastion  IV. 

Battery  No.  7.  Dismounting  and  ricochet  battery,  4  12- 
pounders,  against  bastions  V.  and  VI. 


Battery    Xo.    8.    Dismounting   and    ricochet   battery,   4   24- 

pounders,  against  ravelins  V.  and  VI. 

-r,      1  i  TVT     -I  o      -i     -n  r  against  any  sorties  that 

Emplacement  JSo.  1.  2  mitrailleurs       ^     •   i  x  i      i.i.        i.    n 

-T^    ^1  J.  TS.T     o  r.      -1     -11         ■{       might  be  attempted  by 

Emplacement  No.  2.  2  mitrailleurs  ,,  *         .  '■  •' 

'-  l^      the  garrison. 

The  batteries  were  situated  at  a  distance  of  about  2,000  to 
2,400  paces,  and  from  their  general  arrangement  it  appears  that 
the  design  of  the  attack  was  to  exhaust  thoroughly  the  fronts 
selected  before  the  final  operations  of  the  siege,  and  also  in  the 
first  instance  to  disable  as  far  as  possible  the  artillery  defence  of 
the  collateral  works. 

In  order  to  keep  the  garrison  in  ignorance  as  long  as  possible 
of  what  was  done  by  the  attack,  and  also  to  push  on  as  far  as 
possible  the  construction  of  the  batteries  undisturbed  by  the  enemy, 
which  was  very  difficvilt,  the  fortress  was  slielled  from  several 
points  on  the  ground  around  it.  For  this  purpose  the  field 
batteries  present  with  the  siege  corps  on  the  IGth  to  1  9th  January 
took  up  230sitions  well  covered  by  the  ground  opposite  the  fortress 
and  threw  rapidly  several  rounds  of  shell  into  it,  with  a  view  of  re- 
tiring again  as  quickly  as  they  had  come  up.  This  bombardment  with 
field  guns  was  not  witliout  effect.  The  shells  burst  here  and  there 
in  the  town,  spread  alarm  and  dismay  among  the  inhabitants,  and 
kept  the  garrison  under  arms  till  they  were  weary.  No  important 
fires  were  caused,  but  the  roof  of  the  prison  and  the  church  towers 
were  pierced  by  shell.  To  obtain  a  secure  footing  as  near  as 
possible  to  the  fortress,  on  the  following  night  the  farm  PulventeuXj 
about  1,000  paces  to  the  south  of  the  place,  was  prepared 
for  defence ;  rifle-trenches  were  pushed  up  to  the  slope  there, 
and  were  also  constructed  on  some  heights  of  the  same  kind  on 
both  sides  of  the  road  leading  to  Verdun.  On  the  evening  of  the 
18th  January  the  china  factory  on  the  west  of  the  lower  town  and 
the  railway  station  were  occupied  by  the  besiegers. 

On  the  19th  January,  about  8  o'clock  in  the  morning,  battery 
No.  1  opened  fire  with  siege  guns ;  the  artillery  of  the  garrison, 
as  soon  as  they  became  aware  of  the  state  of  affairs,  set  to  work  to 
increase  the  armaments  of  their  works,  and  answered  the  fire  with 
composure.  They  directed  their  attention  chiefly  to  battery  No.  1, 
dismounted  several  guns,  and  wounded  and  killed  some  men. 

On  the  20th  January,  with  the  assistance  of  battery  No.  2, 
the  artillery  of  the  defenders  was  towards  evening  reduced  to 
silence,  and  the  works  demolished  to  such  an  extent  that  the  enemy 
could  not  renew  his  fire  during  the  night.  A  heavy  fog  prevented 
the  contest  of  the  artillery  from  being  fully  developed,  and  caused 
a  long  pause  on  both  sides  in  the  delivery  of  the  fire.  On  the 
night  of  the  19th  to  20th  of  January,  the  bridge  over  the  river 
situated  in  the  lower  town  was  blown  up  to  prevent  its  being  used 
by  the  enemy  for  sorties.  Also  on  the  left  wing  of  the  attack, 
which  contained  by  far  the  greater  number  of  batteries,  a  contest 
of  artillery  had  taken  place  with  like  vigour  on  both  sides. 
The  besiegers  had  carried  out  the  plan  of  attack  with  precision, 
and  had  quickly  produced  a  great  effect  on  the  front  assailed.  They 


did  not  delay  to  improve  the  advantage  gained  by  the  construction 
of  a  parallel  by  the  "common  sap.''-^^-  This  was  accordingly 
done  on  the  night  of  the  21st  to  22nd  January,  at  a  distance 
of  1,000  paces  from  the  fortress,  and  nearly  as  far  in  front  of 
the  batteries.  The  heavy  frost,  however,  impeded  this  work,  so 
that  it  was  not  possible  on  the  first  night  to  complete  it  to  the 
prescribed  profile  of  4^  feet  wide  at  the  top  and  3  feet  at  the 
bottom,  with  a  depth  of  4  feet.  It  was  necessary  to  make  renewed 
and  continued  exertions  on  the  following  day,  and  on  the  night  of 
the  22nd  to  23rd  January,  in  order  to  execute  and  complete 
the  parallel  so  as  to  be  at  all  fit  for  its  purpose,  and  to  obtain  a 
sufficiently  strong  parapet. 

On  the  22nd  January,  at  8  a.m.,  the  artillery  fight  was  re- 
newed, the  garrison  and  their  artillery  having  remained  quiet  all 
the  night,  and  having  done  nothing  to  interrupt  the  construction 
of  the  parallel.  Batteries  No.  7  and  No.  8  opened  fire.  The  results 
produced  by  the  Prussian  artillery  were  on  the  whole  satisfactory. 
It  should,  however,  be  mentioned  that  the  enemy  fired  for  the 
most  part  only  against  battery  No.  2,  and  towards  the  afternoon 
their  defence  became  slack.  In  the  evening  battery  No.  9  was 
completed  in  the  parallel  opposite  bastion  V.,  and  at  once  armed 
with  four  22-centimetre  (8-66-inch)  mortars,  in  order  to  fire  upon 
the  enemy's  workmen  and  other  troops  there.  During  the  execution 
of  these  batteries  the  garrison  made  a  sortie  and  brought  on  a  mus- 
ketry fight  with  the  Prussian  outposts,  and  thus  interrupted  the 
progress  of  the  work  for  several  hours. 

Jaiviiary  23. — Continuance  of  the  fire  on  both  sides.  There 
remained  no  doubt  but  that  batteries  Nos.  1  and  2  annoyed 
the  enemy  excessively,  for  to-day  again  he  was  much  occupied 
with  them,  and  opened  fire  upon  them  with  some  pieces  of  artillery 
newly  brought  into  position,  particularly  from  some  heavy  mortars. 
Otherwise  he  kept  pretty  quiet ;  for  the  duty  on  the  ramparts,  which 
were  terribly  injured  by  shell,  began  to  be  difficult.  The  construc- 
tion of  mortar  battery  No.  10  for  four  22-centimetre  (8 '6 6-inch) 
mortars,  and  of  mortar  battery  No.  11  for  four  27-centimetre 
(10'64-inch)  mortars,  was  commenced,  and  it  was  intended  on  the 
ensuing  night  to  make  emplacements  Nos.  I.  and  II.  for  mitrailleurs 
on  the  flanks  of  the  parallel,  so  as  to  have  these  pieces  near  at 
hand  in  case  of  sorties  against  the  trenches.  At  8  o'clock  in  the 
evening  fire  broke  out  in  the  fortress.  Although  the  flames  were 
made  the  object  of  the  fire  of  several  batteries  of  the  attack,  yet 
the  garrison  managed  to  put  them  out  during  the  night. 

January  24. — In  the  previous  night  battery  No.  9  was  made 
ready  to  fire,  and  about  8  a.m.  the  bombardment  of  the  fortress 
was  renewed  as  usual.  The  enemy  replied  with  far  less  vigour  than 
before.  Fire  again  broke  out  in  the  fortress,  and  became  at  last  so 
extensive  that  it  could  not  be  put  out.  •  The  two  mortar  batteries 
Nos.  9  and  10,  begun  the  day  before,  were  made  ready  to  fire.  Their 
construction  was  excessively  difficult,  for  they  had  to  be  made 

*  See  Note,  p.  46. 


in  hard,  frozen  ground   covered   witli  wood   and   intersected  by 

As  the  attacked  bastion,  No.  VI.,  was  to  be  surrounded  by  the 
parallel,  the  trench  had  to  be  extended  on  the  following  night,  and 
so  laid  out  that  its  right  flank  should  pass  round  the  bastion,  and 
should  be  only  600  paces  from  it. 

The  preparations  for  carrying  on  this  work  by  night  were  in 
hand,  when  a  flag  of  truce  from  the  fortress  appeared  at  the  out- 
posts, to  enter  into  negotiations  for  its  surrender.  These  were 
concluded  in  the  early  hours  of  the  morning  of  the  25th  January. 
200  garrison  guns,  of  which  many  were  much  damaged,  a  quantity 
of  other  military  stores,  and  nearly  4,000  prisoners  fell  into  the 
hands  of  the  besiegers.  Among  the  guns  captured  were  several 
rifled  24-pounders  of  the  newest  construction  and  of  great  range, 
which  had  been  supplied  to  the  armament  of  Longwy  in  conse- 
quence of  the  Luxembvu'g  afi'air  in  1867,  by  special  orders  of 
Marshal  Niel,  then  War  Minister. 

In  connection  with  this  siege,  it  may  be  mentioned  that  in  1792 
Longwy  was  surrendered  to  the  Prussians,  but  was  soon  evacuated 
again.  In  1814  it  was  not  invested,  but  in  1815  it  was  blockaded 
by  Prussian  troops  under  the  Prince  of  Hesse-Homburg.  They 
were  then  forced,  by  repeated  attacks  from  Thionville,  to  retreat, 
but  returned  with  reinforcements,  commenced  a  regular  siege,  and 
after  completing  the  second  parallel  on  the  18th  September,  com-^ 
pelled  the  fortress  to  capitulate. 


(plate  xyii). 

Mezieres  is  one  of  tlie  most  important  places  in  the  north- 
east of  France,  and  the  point  of  junction  of  four  railways,  those 
coming  from  Givet  and  Charlemont,  Hirson  and  Laon,  Rethel  and 
Eheims,  and  from  Sedan  and  Metz,  and  also  the  place  where  all 
the  communications  by  water  and  by  land  in  that  district  meet. 

The  town  of  Mezieres,  containing  5,600  inhabitants,  and  with 
spacious  barracks,  lies  on  the  right  bank  of  the  Meuse,  which  after 
making  a  long  detour,  returns  and  washes  the  place  on  the  north 
side.  On  the  north  and  south  respectively  are  the  suburbs, 
d' Arches  and  de  Pierre.  The  fortress  proper,  which  surrounds 
the  town,  forms  a  long  quadrangle,  about  1,000  paces  (823 
yards)  long  and  350  paces  broad,  of  which  the  north  and 
south  sides,  being  protected  by  the  Meuse,  consist  merely  of 
an  escarp  wall,  flanked  by  round  bastions,  towers,  and  similar 
large  projections.  The  works  of  the  town  on  the  shorter  sides 
form  a  very  complicated  system  of  fortifications,  with  a  number 
of  greater  and  lesser  lines  of  defence,  which  are  only  of  interest 
for  the  engineer,  and  probably  cannot  be  considered  of  any  value 
for  a  siege  in  the  present  day. 

The  west  front  is  defended  by  two  bastions,  with  orillons  and 
with  broken  curtains.  It  is  further  strengthened  by  a  ravelin  and 
two  counter-guards  in  front  of  the  bastions,  with  a  great  hornvvork 
between  them.  These  counter-guards,  as  well  as  the  hornwork, 
have  large  traverses,  and  are  in  part  provided  ^vith.  block-houses. 
Outside  this  fortress  lies  the  suburb  of  St.  Julien.  The  citadel,  with 
its  high  profiles,  proof  against  assault,  at  the  foot  of  the  heights 
of  Bertaucourt,  protects  the  east  front.  It  has  four  whole  and  two 
half  bastions,  and  is  strengtliened  towards  the  country,  as  well  as 
to  the  south,  by  a  double  line  of  fortifications.  On  the  ground  in 
front  of  it,  half  way  up  the  slope  of  the  hill  of  Bertaucourt,  which 
completely  commands  the  fortress,  a  fleche  has  been  thrust  out 
with  a  communication  covered  on  both  sides.  The  small  suburb 
d'Arches  on  the  side  of  Charleville  is  enclosed  by  a  hornwork, 
the  larger  one  De  Pierre  by  bastioned  lines  with  ravelins.  Both 
are  provided  with  suitable  ravelins,  and  are  thus  formidable 
bridgeheads  for  the  massive  bridges  over  the  Meuse.  The  northern 
one  of  these  has  26  arches.  A  quarter  of  an  hour's  walk  from 
the  suburb  d'Arches  lies  Charleville,  which  is  regularly  built,  and 
was  formerly  fortified.  It  contains  barracks  and  military  estab- 
lishments l^elonging  to  Mezieres,  among  which  should  be  men- 



tioned  an  important  small  arms  factory.  To  the  eastward,  on  the 
plateau  on  the  right  bank  of  the  Meuse,  a  work  had  been  recently 
constructed.  In  Mezieres  there  is  an  engineer  school,  established 
a  long  time  ago,  from  whence  in  its  time  have  proceeded  improve- 
ments in  the  French  system  of  fortification.  ^Many  years  ago  it 
was  of  great  reputation.  The  place  was  well  provisioned,  amply 
provided  with  guns  and  ammunition,  and,  as  the  most  northern 
fortress  on  the  Meuse,  was  by  a  decree  of  the  Emperor  put  into  a 
state  of  siege  at  the  first  outbreak  of  the  war.  The  open  town  of 
Charleville  was  partly  barricaded,  and  on  the  north  was  protected 
by  several  small  field  works. 

The  coarse  of  the  events  of  the  war  brought  jMezieres  unes- 
pectedly  into  immediate  contact  with  the  enemy,  as  it  lay  in  the  line 
of  operations  of  the  army  of  Marshal  MacMahon, which,  at  the  end  of 
August,  in  attempting  to  relieve  jMetz,  found  itself,  by  the  exten- 
sion of  the  German  armies,  forced  into  the  small  space  between  the 
line  Sedan-Mezieres  and  the  Belgian  frontier.  In  consequence, 
Mezieres  served  as  the  point  d'appiu  of  the  right  wing  of  the 
French  position.  When  the  army  of  MacMahon  advanced,  a  part  of 
that  force  was  sent  from  Chalons  to  Sedan  by  the  Eheims-Mezieres 
railway,  while  Yinoy's  corps  followed  in  reserve,  and  hardly  com- 
plete in  its  organisation,  being  formed  of  gardes  mobiles  and 
depot  battalions,  only  reached  Mezieres  on  the  31st  August.  Here 
General  Vinoy  found  his  communication  with  MacMahon  already 
broken,  and  he  consequently,  with  the  consent  of  the  war  minister, 
began  to  retreat  on  Paris.  During  the  battle  of  Sedan,  the  Royal 
"VViirtemberg  division  was  charged  to  take  up  a  position  at  Bertau- 
court,  opposite  Mezieres,  and  to  observe  the  place.  Accordingly, 
at  break  of  day  on  the  1st  September,  a  pontoon  bridge  was 
thrown  over  at  Xouvion,  and  was  crossed  by  jjart  of  the  division, 
in  order  that  they  might  at  the  same  time  take  up  a  position  in 
readiness  for  the  battle  in  the  neighbourhood  of  Donchery,  while 
the  1st  jager  battalion  remained  on  the  bridge  and  furnished 
patrols  opposite  Mezieres.  In  the  afternoon  the  French  came  out 
of  Mezieres  towards  Nouvion  with  two  battalions,  two  squadrons, 
and  four  or  six  guns,  and  were  subsequently  driven  back  through 
Ayvelles  into  the  fortress,  after  a  short  engagement  of  mus- 
ketry and  artillery  by  the  8th  regiment,  a  squadron  of  dragoons, 
and  the  7th  field  battery,  who  had  fallen  back  from  the  main 
body  of  the  division  to  the  position  of  the  bridge.  Two  com- 
panies of  jiigers,  and  a  squadron,  co-operated  with  these  movements 
on  the  right  bank  of  the  ^leuse.  The  detachment  bivouacked 
on  the  night  of  the  1st  to  2nd  September,  at  Ayvelles. 

On  the  2nd  September  two  squadrons  of  the  6th  Prussian 
cuirassiers,  under  the  command  of  Captain  the  Count  Monts, 
were  sent  forward  to  reconnoitre  opposite  Mezieres,  and  that 
officer  on  this  occasion  treated  with  the  commandant.  Count 
Monts,  and  also  on  the  following  day  First  Lieutenant  the  Baron 
von  Reitzenstein,  were  fired  at  in  returning  from  the  fortress. 

After  the  battle  of  Sedan  there  was  a  kind  of  armistice  for 
Mezieres,  whilst  the  fortress,  at  the  instance  of  the  Commander- 


in-Chief  of  the  French,  Greneral  Count  von  Wimpffen,  supplied 
provisions  from  its  stores  for  the  French  prisoners,  and  permission 
had  to  be  given  for  these  provisions  to  be  forwarded  by  the  rail- 
way to  the  neighbourhood  of  Donchery.  Subsequently,  railway 
trains  with  wounded,  who  were  sent  through  Belgium,  were  allowed 
to  pass  unimpeded  through  the  rayon  of  the  fortress,  and  for  this 
reason,  apparently  in  recompense,  the  Germans  abstained  for  the 
time  from  further  hostile  measures  against  the  place. 

The  country  round  Mezieres  is  cut  up  by  hills,  valleys,  and 
woods,  and  is  much  built  over,  and,  being  conveniently  near  the 
French  frontier,  was  frequently  the  scene  of  the  operations  of 
bands  of  francs-tireurs,  supported  directly,  or  indirectly,  by  the 
fortress.  They  fired  at  railway  trains  carrying  the  wounded, 
and  at  the  end  of  October  they  surprised  a  Prussian  provision 
train,  and  also  a  patrol  of  thirty  cuirassiers  reconnoitring 
at  Olicy,  of  whom  they  seem  to  have  killed  the  greater  number. 
These  circumstances  made  it  difficult  to  operate  against  the 
fortress,  as  was  now  necessary.  On  the  advance  of  the  1st  army 
from  Metz  to  the  west  of  France,  the  1st  infantry  division  was  sent 
forward,  at  the  beginning  of  November,  towards  Mezieres  to 
cover  the  right  flank,  and  towards  the  end  of  that  month  it  was 
relieved  by  the  force  under  Greneral  Schuler  von  Senden  (the  line 
brigade  of  the  division  previously  commanded  by  General  von 
Kummer.  A  strict  blockade  of  the  fortress  was  not  then  con- 
templated, but  detachments  of  the  force  mentioned  had  frequent 
encounters  with  the  franc- tireurs.  A  band  of  the  latter  was  sur- 
rounded in  the  neighbourhood  of  Fagnon,  a  mile  (4f  English  miles) 
south-west  of  Mezieres.  The  commandant  of  the  fortress.  Colonel 
Vernet,  caused  a  sortie  to  be  made  against  them  on  the  14th 
November,  but  these  troops  were  driven  back  into  the  place. 
Another  band  of  franc-tireurs  had  been  driven  back  in  a  north- 
westerly direction  from  the  fortress  towards  Rocroy,  and  had  made 
choice  of  the  village  of  Harcy  for  their  abode.  The  Prussians 
reached  them  there,  and  dispersed  them. 

Subsequently  the  force  above  mentioned  marched  away  to  the 
westward.  After  the  capture  of  Montmedy,  the  bombardment 
of  Mezieres  followed  in  due  course.  Part  of  the  14th  division 
took  up  a  position  against  it,  and  in  doing  so  engaged  the  franc- 
tireurs  on  the  22nd  December  at  Nouzon,  a  mile  (4f  English  miles) 
north  of  Mezieres,  and  at  Eigmogne.  After  completely  investing 
the  fortress,  and  having  incessant  small  fights  with  the  franc- 
tireurs  roaming  about  on  the  north  of  it,  the  preparations  for 
bombarding  the  place  were  commenced. 

The  siege  corps  was  under  the  command  of  Lieutenant-General 
von  Kamecke  up  to  the  25th  December  on  which  day  he  was 
ordered  away  to  take  over  the  supreme  direction  of  the  engineer 
operations  in  the  attack  on  Paris.  He  was  accordingly  replaced 
before  Mezieres  by  Major-Greneral  von  Woyna  II.,  commanding 
the  28th  brigade  of  infantry.  This  officer  completed  the  artillery 
arrangements  for  the  attack,  so  far  as  to  place  the  field  batteries 
in  covered  emplacements  on  the  north  and  west,  so  as  to  fire  upon 


Charleville  according  to  the  preconceived  design.  Head-quarters 
were  in  Boulzicourt,  a  mile  (4f  English  miles)  south  of  Mezi^res, 
on  the  right  bank  of  the  Meuse.  The  artillery  consisted  of  18 
companies  of  garrison  artillery  of  the  East  Prussian,  Brandenberg, 
Lower  Silesian,  Ehenish,  Hanoverian,  and  Hessian  regiments  of 
artillery,  with  a  siege  park  composed  of  26  long  24-pounders,  11 
short  24-pounders,  32  12-pounders,  4  rifled  21-centimetre 
mortars,  7  heavy  and  3  light  French  mortars,  and  5  field  bat- 
teries, of  which  three  were  heavy  and  two  light.  Besides  these 
there  were  before  the  fortress  4  companies  of  garrison  pioneers 
(engineers)  of  the  1st,  Ilnd,  IVth,  and  Vllth  army  corps,  the  2nd 
and  3rd  companies  of  field  pioneers  (engineers)  of  the  7th  West- 
phalian  pioneer  battalion,  2  pontoon  columns  of  the  1st  and  Vllth 
army  corps,  and  the  column  of  intrenching  tools  of  the  Vllth 
army  corps. 

Colonel  Meissner  commanded  the  siege  artillery,  Colonel 
Kiedel  the  engineers.  The  principal  park  of  artillery  and  the 
laboratory  were  three  quarters  of  a  mile  (3^  English  miles)  south 
of  the  fortress  at  the  Pouderie  Imperiale,  between  the  railway 
and  the  high  road  to  Boulzicourt.  Two  other  small  parks  were 
established  at  Lumes,  a  mile  (4|-  English  miles)  south-east  of 
Mezieres,  on  the  right  bank  of  the  Meu?e,  and  at  Warnecourt,  a 
mile  and  a  quarter  (5 "9  English  miles)  south-west  of  the  fortress 
on  the  road  to  Paris. 

The  peculiar  situation  of  the  fortress  was  unfavourable  for  the 
attack.  It  was  surrounded  by  the  Meuse  on  three  sides,  and  thus 
gained  considerable  defensive  strength,  especially  in  time  of  floods, 
which  at  this  late  period  of  the  year  were  to  be  expected. 
Close  reconnaissances,  however,  led  to  the  conclusion  that  the 
principal  attack  should  be  directed  against  the  front  of  the 
fortifications  of  the  bridgehead  De  Pierre,  but  that  this  should 
be  supported  simultaneously  by  batteries  on  the  right  bank  of  the 
Meuse,  making  partial  use  of  the  range  of  heights  there.  The 
siege  batteries  on  this  side,  fourteen  in  number,  and  the  five  field 
batteries,  were,  in  conformity  with  this  plan,  to  counter-batter  or 
destroy  chiefly  the  fortifications  of  the  bridgehead,  and  in  rear 
of  it  the  lines  on  its  flank,  the  citadel,  and  the  interior  of  the 
town  of  Mezieres,  and  to  enfilade  the  two  bridges  over  the  Meuse 
that  were  within  range.  The  open  town  of  Charleville  lying  be- 
hind would  only  be  shelled  in  case  it  took  an  active  part  in  the 
defence.  It  was  intended  up  to  this  time  to  do  no  more  than 
threaten  it  with  artillery. 

The  construction  of  the  batteries  was  carried  out  in  the  period 
from  the  24th  to  the  30th  December  inclusive.  The  works  were 
but  little  interfered  with  by  the  enemy,  and  were  pushed  on  by 
day,  partly  by  making  use  of  existing  cover.  The  hard  frost 
that  had  penetrated  the  ground  to  a  depth  of  1^  feet  was,  how- 
ever, a  cause  of  delay.  Pepeated  demands  made  to  the  com- 
mandant to  surrender  had  not  the  smallest  result. 

On  the  31st  December  at  8  a.m.  the  bombardment  began,  and 
the  rule  was  laid  down  that  by  day  five  rounds  should  be  fired 


per  gun  per  hour,  and  three  rounds  per  mortar ;  wliile  by  night 
each  gun  was  to  fire  one  round,  and  each  mortar  one  round  every 
two  hours. 

On  the  Prussian  side  the  battle  of  artillery  was  waged  with 
great  composure  and  with  manifest  results.  The  French  artillery 
of  the  garrison  replied  with  18  to  24  guns,  and  endeavoured 
during  the  night  to  strengthen  their  ramparts,  and  to  bring  fresh 
guns  into  action. 

On  New  Year's  day,  1871,  at  11  o'clock  in  the  morning,  the 
white  flag  was  hung  out,  and  a  capitulation  was  concluded  at 
11  o'clock  the  same  evening.  The  fortress  was  occupied  by  the 
Prussian  troops  at  mid-day  on  the  2nd  January.  They  took  98 
officers  and  2,000  men  jirisoners,  and  captured  106  guns,  and 
many  stores  and  provisions. 

The  bombardment,  though  it  had  only  lasted  twenty-se\'en 
hours,  had  however  produced  a  terrible  effect,  as  was  shown  chiefly 
by  the  ruins  and  the  heaps  of  rubbish.  To  remain  on  the  ramparts 
had  become  impossible,  and  in  tlie  town  fire  broke  out  after  five 
rounds,  and  could  not  be  comiDletely  extinguished.  In  the  bom- 
bardment which  the  Prussians  had  directed  against  Mezieres  in 
1815,  when  the  fortress  fell  for  the  first  time,  and  after  some 
weeks  the  citadel  also,  the  cathedral  had  remained  uninjured  ;  but 
on  this  occasion  the  altar  was  struck  by  a  Prussian  shell,  and  was 
completely  destroyed. 

Subsequently  a  rumour  was  spread  that  the  commandant  had 
been  induced  to  surrender  by  the  dread,  on  accoimt  of  both  the 
town  and  the  fortress,  of  the  explosion  of  the  powder  magazine. 
For  the  honour  of  the  French  commandant,  we  can  give  no 
credit  to  this  statement. 

With  the  capture  of  the  fortress  a  second  unbroken  line  of 
railway  was  gained,  through  Metz  and  Mezieres  to  Paris,  and  the 
principal  head-quarters  of  the  operations  of  the  franc-tireurs  in 
the  Ardennes  was  taken  from  them. 



of  thje^ 





'|./.?|;firT   •       ^ 

Sc^  So^  7aM  Aug  Suy 

rr.'^.v^     --v^..-: TM ^*~  '^^^T:^ 





(plate   XVIII.) 

Paris,  with  its  1,850,000  inhabitants,  is  the  centre  of  the 
business,  the  manufactures,  and  the  finance  of  France,  and  even 
on  these  grounds  is  the  capital  of  the  country.  Eight  rail- 
ways, numerous  high  roads,  water  communication  of  every  de- 
scription, form  its  means  of  intercourse  with  the  other  chief 
business  towns.  The  circumference  of  the  city  is  six  or  seven 
leagues,  and  the  total  length  of  its  streets  a  hundred  miles  (468 
English  miles). 

The  Seine,  200  to  300  paces  broad,  and  spanned  by  21  bridges, 
divides  the  town  into  two  unequal  parts.  The  fortifications 
consist  of  the  enceinte,  which  comprises  98  bastions,  generally 
very  spacious,  with  revetted  ditches  35  paces  wide,  but  without 
ravelins.  In  this  rampart  tliere  are  47  gates,  14  sally-ports,  10 
openings  for  railways,  4  for  water-communications.  The  terre- 
plein,  or  military  road  passing  along  and  within  the  line  of  the 
bastions,  is  paved  ;  near  and  in  some  parts  parallel  to  it  runs  the  cir- 
cular railway,  which  connects  the  railway  stations  with  one  another, 
and  Vas  of  great  use  for  the  armament  and  defence  of  the  fortress. 

Round  this  inner  line  of  works,  at  a  distance  of  2,500  to  3,500 
paces,  runs  the  outer  line,  the  circumference  of  which  amounts  to 
12  leagues.  It  consists  of  a  circle  of  15  detached  forts,  whose 
distance  apart  is  on  the  average  3,500  paces ;  they  cover  by  their 
fire  a  space  about  1 8  leagues  round.  The  north  and  north-east 
fronts  are  the  strongest. 

The  north  front  commences  with  St.  Denis,  the  key  of  the  outer 
line,  around  which  are  the  forts  De  la  Briche,  Double  Couronne 
du  Nord,  and  De  I'Est ;  these  three  works  are  connected  by  a  wall 
and  ditch,  and  are  moreover  specially  strengthened  by  an  inundation, 
controlled  by  sluices  on  the  swift-running  stream  of  Rouillon,  and 
which  again  is  covered  by  the  redoubt  of  Stains.  Railway  and  road 
embankments,  lines  of  canals,  many  villages  built  solidly  and  easily 
adapted  for  defence,  wooded  heights,  and  the  inundation  above 
mentioned,  which  may  be  positively  relied  upon,  give  to  this  tract 
of  ground  great  capabilities  of  defence.  South  of  the  railway  lead- 
ing to  Soissons,  and  east  of  the  canal  of  St.  Denis,  lies  Fort  d'Auber- 
villiers.  The  parts  of  the  canal  from  St.  Denis  and  Ourcq  lying 
in  rear  of  this  fort  are  provided  with  parapets  and  small  flanking 

South  of  the  canal  of  Ourcq  and  the  road  to  Metz,  on  the 
heights  of  Belleville  and  Pantin,  lies  the  important  fort  of  Remain- 


ville,  which  is  connected  with  the  canal  by  lines  en  cremaillere 
along  the  slope  of  the  hill.  The  crest  of  the  plateau  of  Eomain- 
viUe  is  crowned  by  the  three  forts  Noisy,  Eosny,  and  Nogent,  in  the 
intervals  between  which  the  redoubts  Noisy,  Montreuil,  Boissiere, 
and  Fontenay,  are  judiciously  placed. 

At  this  point  terminates  a  section  of  the  defences  formed  by 
the  Marne,  a  river  of  the  width  of  1 00  paces,  and  this  section  is 
in  addition  protected  at  the  south-east  angle  by  a  line  of  fortifica- 
tions 2,800  paces  long ;  the  redoubts  De  la  Grravelle  and  De 
la  Faisanderie,  placed  on  its  flanks,  impart  to  it  considerable 
powers  of  resistance.  The  well-kno-^ni  fortified  castle  of  Vin- 
cennes  serves  as  a  keep  to  this  work,  and  is  sm-rounded  by  a  park 
of  the  same  name ;  there  is  also  here  the  great  arsenal  and  the 
artillery  practice  ground,  which  extends  to  the  Marne.  Fort 
Charenton,  in  the  angle  formed  by  the  Marne  and  the  Seine,  forms 
the  southern  termination  of  the  defences  of  the  north-east  front. 

The  southern  front  of  the  outer  line  of  defences  commences  on 
the  left  bank  of  the  Seine,  opposite  Fort  Charenton,  with  Fort 
Ivry,  and  thence  is  continued  on  a  hilly,  wooded  plateau,  inter- 
sected by  ravines,  by  forts  Bicetre,  Montrouge,  Vanvres,  and  Issy, 
the  last  commanding  the  Seine ;  in  front  of  the  last  thi-ee  lie  the 
heights  of  Bagneux,  Clamart,  Meudon,  and  Chatillon,  which  be- 
came of  such  importance  during  the  siege.  The  forts  command 
the  railways  to  Sceaux  and  to  Versailles. 

The  west  front  is  bounded  by  the  Seine  and  the  Bois  de  Bou- 
logne, and  is  defended  by  the  fortress  of  Mont  Valerien,  which 
stands  at  a  height  of  415  feet  above  the  river.  This  work  is  at 
distances  of  1^  miles  (7  English  miles)  and  1  mile  (4f  English 
miles)  respectively  from  the  forts  on  either  side,  namely,  St. 
Denis  and  Fort  d'Issy.  The  course  of  the  Seine  from  Fort  Issy 
to  the  fortifications  of  St.  Denis  confers  upon  this  portion  of  the 
city  of  Paris  great  defensive  strength. 

As  the  forts  were  built  almost  all  at  the  same  time,  they 
have  on  the  whole  been  treated  almost  alike  as  regards  their 
defensive  details ;  they  have  a  bastioned  trace,  revetted  ditches, 
similar  arrangements  of  the  communications  within  and  with- 
out, and  ramparts  of  almost  the  same  very  substantial  profile. 
They  are  all  rendered  quite  proof  against  assaidt,  and  furnished 
with  the  requisite  powder  magazines.  Bomb-proof  cover  for  the 
garrisons  is  provided  partly  in  casemates  under  the  ramparts,  in 
the  cm-tains  and  flanks,  and  partly  in  keeps  and  barracks  apart ; 
where  necessary,  cavaliers  are  added  to  obtain  a  better  view 
of  the  ground  in  front.  There  are  no  ravelins ;  for  this  reason 
the  more  important  forts  have  hornworks  in  front  of  them, 
for  the  greater  security  of  the  front  of  attack.  The  interior  space 
and  extent  of  the  forts  vary  according  to  the  importance  of  the 
work  they  are  designed  to  perform,  and  the  size  of  the  garrisons 
allotted  to  them ;  the  largest  is  the  fortress  of  Mont  Valerien, 
which  has  a  base  of  some  500  paces,  and  the  least  has  a  base 
of  about  300.  Some  of  the  prominent  features  of  the  forti- 
fications of  Paris,  with  reference  to  their  general  arrangement  and 


to  the  various  points  of  attack,  are  mentioned  further  on  in  their 
proper  places. 

Excitement  and  agitation  spread  through  Paris  on  the  re- 
ceipt of  the  news  of  the  retreat  of  the  French  armies,  which 
became  necessary  after  the  engagements  at  Spicheren,  Weissem- 
bom-g,  Worth.  The  order  was  given  to  call  out  the  national 
guard  and  the  garde  mobile.  In  the  former  were  i^laced  all 
citizens  between  30  and  40  years  of  age,  and  in  the  latter 
those  under  30.  The  populace  of  Paris  showed  signs  of  a  dis- 
position to  revolt.  The  issue  of  bank  notes  rose  to  a  total 
of  2,400  million  francs.  The  governor,  Greneral  Baraguay 
d'Hilliers,  declared  the  town  in  a  state  of  siege,  in  order  that 
he  might  be  aided  by  the  rigour  of  martial  law  in  putting 
the  fortress  in  a  state  of  defence.  This  entailed  serious  inter- 
ference with  the  daily  avocations  of  the  citizens,  but  was  recog- 
nised as  necessary,  as  no  preparations  had  been  made  during 
the  long  peace,  either  in  the  place  itself  or  in  the  detached 
forts.  Attention  was  first  bestowed  upon  the  safety  of  the  town 
itself.  There  was  indeed  a  revetted  enceinte  with  a  ditch  in 
existence,  but  the  protection  of  the  gates  and  entrances  of  the 
openings  for  railways  and  canals  had  in  great  part  to  be  provided 
for.  The  ditches  were,  for  the  sake  of  the  traffic  of  the  city, 
crossed  in  some  places  by  bridges,  in  others  by  embankments. 
These  communications,  as  well  as  in  some  places  the  profile 
of  the  ditch,  required  radical  reconstruction  to  put  them  in  a 
secm-e  state  of  defence.  The  gateways  were  reduced  to  the  smallest 
number  the  traffic  would  allow,  the  drawbridges  were  hung  and 
made  passable,  the  number  of  railway  openings  was  reduced  as 
far  as  practicable,  and  they  were  covered  by  traverses.  Barricades 
were  prepared,  as  far  as  the  traffic  permitted,  in  the  avenues  De  la 
Grande  Armee,  Du  Roule,  and  other  jolaces,  and  openings  that 
could  be  closed  were  left  for  the  passage  of  the  traffic.  The 
openings  of  the  underground  canals  and  aqueducts  at  Asnieres  and 
and  at  the  Aqueduct  d'Huys  were  covered  with  gratings  or  closed, 
and  dams  were  prepared  at  suitable  points  on  the  Seine,  as  well  as 
at  the  Viaduct  d'Auteuil  and  at  the  Port  Napoleon,  in  order  to 
supply  the  ditches  of  the  fortifications  with  water.  Earthworks, 
constructed  for  the  purjoose,  protected  these  dams  from  destruc- 
tion by  distant  artillery  fire.  On  the  west,  north,  and  east  fronts 
ten  bomb-proof  powder  magazines  were  formed  with  walls  six  feet 
thick,  with  coverings  of  strong  timbers,  and  completely  covered 
up  with  earth.  At  the  same  time  that  this  was  done  the  spaces 
around  the  fortresses  were  cleared,  a  measure  which,  in  spite  of  the 
strict  law  on  the  subject  existing  in  France,  was  necessary,  and 
was  remorselessly  executed.  Buildings  and  hedges  were  demolished, 
and  ditches,  banks,  &c.,  affi^rding  cover  to  the  enemy,  were  so 
sloped  off  as  to  be  grazed  by  the  line  of  fire  from  the  ramparts. 
Where  necessary,  the  entrances  into  the  fortifications  were  protected 
by  earthworks  thrown  up  in  front  against  the  fire  of  the  enemy, 
so  as  to  render  them  more  thoroughly  defensible.  The  communi- 
cations from  the  fortress  were  made  impassable  for  a  long  distance, 


by  tearing-  up  the  causeways,  by  destroying  bridges,  and  erect- 
ing barricades.  A  part  of  the  iron -plated  gunboats,  armed 
each  with  one  heavy  gim,  originally  intended  for  the  Ehine, 
was  allotted  to  the  defence  of  Paris  and  for  operations  on  the 
Seine  ;  they  were  commanded  by  naval  officers,  and  manned  by 
marines,  and  special  districts  and  stations,  well  protected,  were 
assigned  to  them.  Thus  some  were  in  the  upper  Seine  under  the 
fire  of  forts  Ivry  and  Charenton  ;  others,  between  Meudon,  Sevres, 
and  the  island  of  Bellevue,  at  St.  Cloud  and  Suresnes  ;  and  others 
on  the  lower  Seine,  under  the  gims  of  the  defences  of  St.  Denis. 

The  manoeuvring  of  the  gunboats  was  much  interfered 
with,  in  spite  of  their  small  draught,  by  the  shallowness  of  the 
water,  and  subsequently  by  the  breaking  up  of  the  ice  on  the  Seine. 
Escepting  steamboats  of  some  use  in  the  defence,  all  the  boats 
available  for  ferrying  purposes  were  sunk  in  the  Seine  or  the  Marne. 

The  inundation  of  the  east  front  of  the  defences  of  St.  Denis 
was  forthwith  carried  out,  because  it  was  always  believed  in  Paris 
that  an  enemy  would  only  have  to  choose  between  the  front  of  St. 
Denis-Pantin  and  the  front  Eomainville-Charenton.  French  military 
writers  disputed  only  on  this  point,  whether  the  one  or  the  other 
was  the  key  of  Paris :  no  thought  was  bestowed  on  any  other  front 
of  attack  but  these  two.  Great  importance  was  attached  to 
strengthening  the  ground  in  front,  the  sole  point  in  dispute 
among  French  military  writers ;  let  us  accordingly  commence 
our  description  on  the  south.  In  front  of  the  line  of  defence 
in  tliat  part,  between  Fort  d'Issy  and  Fort  Bicetre,  there  runs 
a  range  of  woody  heights,  over  which  are  scattered  villages, 
parks,  and  coimtry  houses.  As  the  defences  were  designed  in  1840, 
these  heiglits  were  beyond  the  range  of  the  guns  of  the  period,  and 
this  was  the  reason  that  they  were  not  considered.  Since  the  in- 
troduction of  long-range  rifled  ordnance,  however,  detached  ele- 
vated spots,  which  look  into  the  forts  and  hollows,  have  become 
dangerous.  At  the  same  time,  therefore,  that  the  place  was  put 
into  a  state  of  defence,  as  above-mentioned,  the  erection  of  de- 
tached works  was  undertaken,  of  which  we  name  only  the  most 
important : — 

1.  A  group  of  field-works  on  the  ground  in  advance  and  to  the 
west  and  south  of  Mont  Valerien,  namely,  the  Miihlen  and  Wolfs- 
gruben  redoubts,  and  the  lunette  of  Suresnes. 

2.  A  work  at  ]Montretout,  immediately  above  the  railway 
station  of  St.  Cloud. 

3.  A  work  between  forts  Issy  and  Vanvres. 

4.  A  redoubt  by  the  side  of  the  porcelain  manufactory  at 
Sevres,  afterwards  called  the  Kronprinzen-Schanze. 

5.  A  work  to  the  southward  of  Sevres,  afterwards  called  the 

6.  A  redoubt  in  the  park  of  Meudon. 

7.  A  work  at  Notre  Dame  de  Clamart. 

8.  A  work  at  Moulin  de  la  Tour,  afterwards  called  the  Baiern- 

The  last  two  entrenchments  were  situated  upon  spots  com- 
manding forts  Issy,  Vanvres,  and  Montrouge.     The  ramparts  of 


these  forts  were  raised  about  2  metres  to  prevent  the  enemy  seeing 
into  them. 

9.  A  smaller  work  at  the  hamlet  L'Hay  for  the  defence  of  the 
ground  in  front  of  Villejuif  and  the  Fontainebleau  road. 

10.  The  works  of  Chatillon  and  Clamart,  and  of  Villejuif,  with 
a  defensible   communication  to  Fort  Bicetre. 

11.  A  work  1,000  paces  to  the  west  of  Villejuif,  and  south- 
west of  F'ort  Bicetre ;  this  was  originally  open  at  the  gorge 
and  was  afterwards  converted  into  a  redoubt.  The  technical 
execution  and  arrangement  of  this  work  was  praised  as  being 
a  model,  and  we  give,  therefore,  some  details  of  its  construction. 
The  entrenchment  was  traced  as  a  five-sided  redoubt,  with  a  ditch 
and  parapet  of  a  strong  profile,  and  with  a  bastioned  gorge.  The 
casemates  for  the  accommodation  of  the  soldiers  were  placed 
imder  the  ramparts,  and  constructed  of  wood,  and  their  roofs  were 
formed  of  railway  iron.  All  the  ramparts  were  arranged  for 
artillery  defence,  and  they  had  numerous  hollow  traverses, 
which  served  for  cover  for  various  purposes.  The  ditch  was 
flanked  partly  by  caponiers  built  of  timber,  partly  by  a  loopholed 
wall,  which  ran  along  the  foot  of  the  counterscarp  and  likewise 
served  as  a  palisading. 

12.  A  terraced  work  in  tiers  at  Cachan  for  eight  guns  to  fire 
upon  the  valley  of  Bievre. 

13.  The  defences  of  Vitry,  with  a  communication  attached 
leading  to  Villejuif,  and  communications  to  the  rear  to  Fort  Ivry, 
and  as  far  as  the  Seine. 

14.  Works  of  defence  at  Bercy,  where  the  Seine  passes  into 
the  fortress,  and  at  Point  du  Jour,  where  it  passes  out  of  the  for- 

15.  Works  to  strengthen  the  position  in  front  of  Fort  Vin- 
<;ennes,  and  the  advanced  position  on  the  Marne  peninsula. 

1 6.  Defences  of  Mont  Avron,  consisting  of  batteries,  rows  of 
musketry  trenches,  and  arrangements  for  the  defence  of  the  net- 
work of  buildings  ;  the  object  was  to  take  in  flank  the  position  of 
the  blockading  force  on  the  east. 

17.  The  defences  of  the  position  of  La  Courneuve,  Le  Bom'get, 
and  Drancy,  where  the  roads  had  been  made  defensible  :  the  places 
named  had  been  fortified,  and  an  independent  earthwork  had  been 
constructed  to  serve  as  a  keep  to  the  whole. 

18.  A  redoubt  at  Pierrefitte,  northward  from  St.  Denis,  to  fire 
upon  the  roads  to  Calais  and  Amiens  and  the  railway  to  Creil. 

19.  A  redoubt  at  Colombes,  to  command  the  peninsula  of 
the  Seine  at  that  place. 

20.  An  entrenchment  between  Billancourt  and  the  Seine,  for 
the  defence  of  the  passage  of  the  river  there  in  case  it  should  be 

21.  Barricades  in  Billancourt,  and  the  reconstruction  of  a 
covered  trench  to  Fort  Issy,  in  connection  M'ith  which  it  was  neces- 
sary to  establish  a  means  of  communication  over  the  Seine ;  a  similar 
means  of  communication  existed  from  Fort  Charenton  over  the 
Marne  to  the  Champ  des  ^Manoeuvres. 

36996.  K 


A  great  number  of  batteries  were  also  constructed  and  secured  by- 
special  means,  such  as  musketry  trenches  and  defensible  communi- 
cations, of  which  here  only  the  principal  ones  will  be  enumerated. 

22.  Batteries  at  St.  Quen,  westward  of  Courbevoye,  for  the 
defence  of  the  Nanterre  peninsula ;  these  were  intended,  in  conjunc- 
tion with  the  work  at  Colombes,  to  fill  up  the  great  gap  in  the  de- 
fences between  the  fortifications  of  Mont  Valerien  and  St.  Denis. 

23.  Batteries  on  the  heights  of  Argenteuil. 

24.  Batteries  on  the  flank  of  Villejuif,  and  at  the  mill  of 

25.  Batteries  on  the  Marne  peninsula,  which  in  conjunction 
with  forts  Charenton  and  Nogent  fired  over  the  ground  round 
Champigny  and  Champignolles. 

26.  Batteries  at  Drancy  and  Courneuve ;  these  were  to  fire  over 
the  flat  ground  in  front  on  both  sides  of  the  road  to  Lille. 

The  greater  part  of  the  works  mentioned  were  executed  during, 
or  at  the  end  of  the  defence,  according  as  it  became  practicable 
at  various  periods  to  complete  the  circle  of  the  French  fortifica- 
tions ;  for  there  was  no  other  opportunity  of  producing  much  real 
effect  on  the  defence. 

Much  astonishment  was  occasioned  by  the  abandonment  of  the 
defence  of  Fort  Vincennes  from  the  very  beginning  ;  as  the  reason 
for  this  remarkable  course,  the  unsatisfactory  structural  condition 
of  the  buildings  there  for  defensive  purposes  was  assigned,  and 
also  the  necessity  for  retaining  the  work  in  use  as  a  prison. 

The  ground  in  front  of  Paris  is  extraordinarily  favourable  in 
general  for  the  construction  of  fortifications,  and  was  taken  advan- 
tage of  for  defensive  works  of  every  description :  for  musketry 
trenches — sometimes  in  a  simple  form,  sometimes  in  successive 
tiers — for  defensive  communications  between  the  several  points 
important  for  the  defence,  for  the  conversion  into  defensible  posts 
of  walls  and  enclosures,  of  which  a  detailed  list  would  here  oc- 
cupy us  too  long.  The  French  understood  thoroughly  how  to  bring 
such  works  into  connection  both  with  the  older  and  with  the  more 
recently  constructed  systems  of  defences,  and  thereby  to  prepare  to 
the  best  advantage  the  defensible  positions  on  the  ground  in  front 
for  a  step-by-step  defence,  and  for  an  astonishing  increase  in 
the  number  of  guns  in  position.  The  gangs  of  men  employed  in 
the  execution  of  these  works  could  not  be  engineer-soldiers  ;  men 
of  the  civil  population  of  suitable  trades  were  employed  for  this 
purpose,  and  no  arms  were  given  them,  since,  as  is  well-known, 
there  were  none  to  spare,  especially  at  the  beginning  of  the  siege. 

Abundant  and  extensive  use  was  made  of  obstacles  for  prevent- 
ing the  ajDproach  of  the  enemy,  such  as  abattis,  trous-de-loup, 
wire  fences,  land  and  water  torpedoes,  &c.,  in  every  place  where 
they  could  be  applied,  in  front  of  all  trenches,  batteries,  and 
minor  defences.  A  peculiar  description  of  ground  torpedoes  was 
discovered  in  the  captured  forts ;  they  were  exploded  by  friction, 
caused  by  the  pressure  of  the  foot  driving  in  a  hammer ;  they 
must  have  been  intended  for  use  against  columns  of  assault,  and 
for  the  defence  of  the  breach. 


It  is  not  to  be  denied  that  General  Trochii — whose  head-quarters 
were  at  the  hotel  of  the  President  of  the  Council — arranged  for  the 
construction  of  the  defences  and  for  the  other  dispositions  for  the 
defence  with  great  ability  and  energy.  His  Chief  of  the  Staff  was 
Gfeneral  Schmidt,  with  Greneral  Foy  as  an  assistant.  General 
Trochu  is  the  more  deserving  of  credit  for  this,  since  he  must  have 
been  actively  and  usefully  employed  on  a  multitude  of  internal  ar- 
rangements, which  equally  demanded  prudence  and  thought.  The 
measure,  not  recognised  by  international  law,  for  the  ruthless 
banishment  of  all  Germans  settled  in  Paris  or  in  France  emanated 
from  him.  He  ordered  the  removal  of  the  boards  of  railway 
directors,  and  other  civil  authorities  unnecessary  in  a  siege,  as  well 
as  the  transfer  of  the  art  treasures  in  the  museum  of  the  Louvre 
to  provincial  towns.  The  seat  of  government  had  been  pre- 
viously moved  to  Tours.  All  who  could  not  show  that  they  had 
means  of  existence,  or  who  disturbed  the  public  order,  or  who  in 
any  way  endangered  the  safety  of  persons  and  property,  were  com- 
pelled to  leave  Paris.  General  Trochu  instituted  a  committee  of 
defence,  which  consisted,  with  himself  as  chairman,  of  Marshal 
Vaillant,  Admiral  RignaultdeGenoully,  Jerome  David,  the  Minister 
of  Public  Works,  and  the  Generals  of  Divisions,  Chabaud  la  Tour, 
Guiod,  D'Autemarre,  D'Erville,  and  Soumaine.  The  plan  of  de- 
fence, which  the  governor  intended  to  follow  in  case  of  a  siege, 
was  in  the  main  as  follows  : — 

First  Circle  of  Defence. — Marshal  Vinoy,  with  his  corps  and 
the  survivors  of  MacMahon's  army  assembled  at  Laon,  defended 
the  position  at  Argenteuil :  General  Mellinet  occupied  the  position 
at  Sceaux-Bourg  with  some  regiments  of  the  line  and  newly  formed 
troops ;  the  provincial  garde  mobile,  with  some  line  regiments, 
were  at  Noissy-Villiers.  A  cavalry  corps  was  placed  at  Bourget, 
eastward  of  St.  Denis. 

Second  Circle  of  Defence. — This  included  the  defence  of  tlie 
forts  which  were  occupied  by  gardes  mobiles  and  by  marine  artil- 

Third  Circle  of  Defence. — This  comprised  the  defence  of  the 
enceinte,  which  was  strengthened  in  rear  by  preparing  the  streets 
and  buildings  lying  near  for  defence.  Much  assistance  was  derived 
from  the  circular  railway,  which  was  very  advantageous  for  mili- 
tary purposes.  It  should  be  observed  that  this  railway  rendered 
most  remarkable  service  in  the  prej)aration  of  works  and  arma- 
ments, in  the  conveyance  of  great  quantities  of  materials,  such 
as  timber  and  earth  for  increasing  the  thickness  of  parts  of  the 
ramparts,  and  the  construction  of  nimierous  traverses  and  bomb- 
proofs,  as  well  as  in  transporting  troops  at  a  subsequent  period. 

Fourth  Circle  of  Defence. — To  this  belonged  the  interior 
defence  by  means  of  barricades,  dividing  the  streets  into  sections, 
and  by  the  system  of  street-defence,  projected  and  executed  by  the 
Emperor  Napoleon  for  street-fighting.  It  cannot  be  denied  that 
the  fundamental  idea  of  this  system  of  defence  was  well  considered, 
and  it  woidd  perhaps  have  fulfilled  the  expectations  entertained  of 
it,  if  the  course   of  events  had  been  such  as  to  require  a  step-by- 

K  2 


step  defence,  and  if  tliey  had  had  well  disciplined  troops  available 
in  Paris. 

On  this  point  it  remains  to  be  stated  that  the  particulars 
of  the  strength  and  composition  of  the  army  of  Paris  have  varied, 
and  no  approximation  to  accuracy  has  been  attained.  The  original 
garrison  of  Paris  was  in  part  reinforced  by  the  addition  of  the 
4th  battalions  of  the  field  regiments.  After  the  battle  of  Sedan 
there  came  from  the  north,  from  the  neighbourhood  of  Mezieres, 
Vinoy's  corps,  strengthened  by  the  survivors  of  MacMahon's  army 
and  the  garrison  of  the  camp  at  Chalons,  as  well  as  probably  about 
100,000  men  of  the  army  of  Lyons.  Moreover,  20,000  labom-ers 
were  formed  into  battalions.  In  the  middle  of  September,  some 
time  before  the  investment,  the  strength  of  the  army  amounted  to — 

Kegulars 80,000  men. 

Parisian  Garde  Mobile  and  Garde  Nationale  .     100,000  men. 

Free  Corps 10,000  men. 

Garde  Mobile  from  other  places     .          .          .       60,000  men. 

Total 250,000  men. 

Further  levies  from  classes  whose  age  did  not  exempt  them  from 
service,  however,  brought  the  army  up  to  nearly  double  this 
strength,  or  500,000  men.  A  Polish  legion,  composed  of  men 
belonging  to  that  nationality,  thovigh  not  actually  under  that 
title,  and  an  Engii&h-North-American  legion  placed  themselves 
at  the  disposal  of  the  committee  of  defence.  The  Polyteclmic 
school  fiunished  skirmishers,  and  the  artillery  for  regular  duty 
in  the  garrisons  of  bastions  86  and  87  of  the  enceinte. 

The  Paris  garde  mobile  and  garde  nationale  were  divided  into 
four  divisions,  whose  head-quarters  were  situated  in  the  Palais 
Eoyal,  the  Conservatoire,  the  Elysee,  and  the  Luxembourg  Palace. 
The  hap-hazard  formation  of  this  army,  the  lack  of  good  military 
training  and  discipline,  their  ignorance  of  the  mode  of  handling  their 
arms,  above  all,  the  want  of  capable  officers  and  non-commissioned 
officers  made  the  army  of  Paris  unfit  for  great  enterprises,  so  that 
their  nmnerical  superiority  over  the  comparatively  weak  German 
army  of  investment  conld  not  give  rise  to  any  difficulty.  General 
Trochu  made  proposals  to  recall  the  army  of  Bazaine  for  the 
defence  of  the  capital,  which  were  at  first  approved,  but  could  not 
afterwards  be  carried  out,  because  the  Marshal  was  shut  up  in 
Metz ;  General  Trochu  protested  against  the  marching  away  of 
MacjNIahon's  army  to  the  north,  but  without  result. 

During  the  progress  of  the  siege,  however,  the  condition  of 
the  garrison  improved,  since  to  their  numerical  strength  they 
added  internal  cohesion  and  tactical  skill.  The  garde  nationale 
and  garde  mobile  were  obliged  to  drill  thoroughly,  and  were 
made  acquainted  with  the  duties  on  the  defences,  which  required 
daily  70,000  men.  In  the  middle-of  October  we  find  the  "  ordre 
de  bataille"  as  follows: — Commanding-in-Chief,  General  Trochu; 
Chief  of  the  General  Staff,  General  Schmitz  ;  of  the  Artillery, 
General  Goyo ;  of  the  Engineers,  G  eneral  Chalaaud  la  Tour ;  In- 
teudant  General,  Wolf. 


First  Army. — General  Clement  Thomas,  CommandiKg  ;  Chief 
of  the  Staff,  Colonel  Montagut ;  266  battalions  of  sedentary 
National  Guard. 

Second  Army. — General  Ducrot,  Commanding;  Chief  of  the 
Staff,  General  Oppert, 

1st  Corps. — Three  divisions.  General  Blanchard  ;  Chief  of  the 

Staff,  Colonel  Filippi. 
2nd  Corps. — Three  divisions.  General  Renault;  Chief  of  the 

Staff,  General  Forri  Pisani. 
3rd  Corps. — Two  divisions  of  infantry,  a  division  of  cavalry. 
General  d'Exea ;  Chief  of  the  Staff,  Colonel  de  Belgarie. 

Third  Army. — General  Vinoy,  commanding.  Six  infantry 
divisions,  including  the  marines,  and  two  cavalry  brigades. 

The  defence  of  the  enceinte  was  divided  into  nine  sections, 
named  after  the  suburbs  in  front  of  them ;  each  was  placed  under 
the  command  of  a  General  of  Division,  or  Vice-Admiral,  whose 
staff  was  complete  in  all  arms  and  branches.  The  garrison  of 
these  sections  consisted  of  national  guards — generally  25  to  40 
battalions  to  each,  according  to  the  number  of  bastions  included 
in  it.  Strict  instructions  and  regulations  were  issued  for  the 
guards  at  the  gateways  and  sally-ports,  and  for  the  duty  on  the 
ramparts  of  the  bastions. 

Neither  the  casemates  in  the  town  of  Paris,  nor  tlie  bomb- 
proofs  in  the  bastions  could  accommodate  the  whole  of  this 
numerous  garrison.  A  great  part  of  them  went  under  canvas  at 
Meaux,  in  the  Bois  de  Vincennes,  and  in  the  Bois  de  Boulogne, 
as  well  as  in  other  places,  or  were  sheltered  in  tents  and  close  canton- 
ments in  the  villages  lying  between  the  enceinte  and  the  forts. 
These  arrangements  were  constantly  changed.  Line  troops,  as  far 
as  possible,  did  duty  in  the  forts. 

When  the  enormous  circumference  of  the  works  to  be  prepared 
for  defence  is  considered,  every  credit  must  be  given  to  the 
engineer  authorities  concerned,  at  whose  head  was  General 
Chabaud  la  Tour.  This  officer  was  a  highly  accomplished 
engineer,  and  under  his  direction  the  east  front  of  the  place, 
which  is  excellently  defiladed,  was  executed  in  1842-44;  he 
called  in  the  aid  of  civil  engineers  who  were  fit  for  the  work, 
of  whom  it  has,  however,  been  recorded,  that  owing  to  their 
ignorance  of  military  matters,  a  great  number  of  demolitions 
were  undertaken,  which  did  not  obstruct  the  approach  of  the  enemy. 
Numerous  bridges  and  roads  were  demolished,  waymarks  were 
removed,  many  tunnels  and  railways  were  destroyed,  where  no 
real  necessity  existed  on  any  reasonable  groimds.  The  principal 
demolitions  undertaken  in  the  immediate  neighbourhood  of  Paris 
were  as  follows: — the  destruction  of  about  60  bridges,  viz., 
those  at  Sevres,  St.  Cloud,  Suresnes,  Bougival,  Marly,  St.  Ger- 
main, Ouen,  Le  Pecq,  Meaux,  Esbly,  Lagny,  lies  de  Villenoy, 
Villeneuve,  &c.,  and  the  blowing  up  of  the  railway  tunnels  at  La 
Ferte  sous  Jouarre,  Nanteuil,  and  of  the  viaduct  at  Chantilly. 

It  is  well  known  that  Trochu  issued  an  order  for  the  burning 
of  the  forests  and  woods  round  Paris  in  order  that  the  investing 


army  might  be  deprived  both  of  firewood  for  their  bivouacs,  and 
also  of  timber  for  the  construction  of  their  works.  Thus  the 
woods  of  Bondy,  Montmorency,  and  St.  Grratien,  and  the  park 
of  Monceaux  were  actually  burnt  down.  The  appearance  of  our 
troops  on  the  south  front,  wlio  there,  and  all  round  Paris,  took  up 
their  positions  with  the  rapidity  and  precision  for  which  they 
are  remarkable,  prevented  in  great  part  the  execution  of  this 
act  of  vandalism.  Thus  the  large  and  magnificent  parks  of 
St.  Cloud,  St.  Germain,  and  Meudon  were  saved. 

The  artillery  in  the  works  was  under  the  orders  of  Greneral 

The  armament  of  Paris  with  artillery  was  pressed  on  most 
energetically,  simultaneously  with  the  preparation  of  the  fortifi- 
cations. We  give  the  particulars  of  the  armaments  as  they  have 
been  made  known  to  us  in  the  report  of  the  Cardinal  von  Wid- 
deren,  and  observe  that  they  must  be  accepted  only  as  a  general 
statement,  as  continual  changes  took  place  during  the  progress  of 
the  siege. 

The  armament  was  made  up  partly  of  heavy  and  partly  of 
light  naval  guns ;  in  this  way  many  smooth-bore  pieces  were 
brought  upon  the  ramparts. 

1.  The  98  bastions  of  the  enceinte,  each  with  400  metres  (438 
yards)  development  of  front,  were  each  to  receive  8  to  10  twelve- 
pounders.  The  gateways  and  sally-ports  were  defended  by  guns  of 
a  greater  calibre.  The  carriages  were  of  cast  iron.  Total  1,226 

2.  The  armament  of  the  detached  forts  is  given  as  follows: 
Charenton,  70;  Vincennes,  117;  Nogent,  53;  Eosny,  56;  Noisy- 
le-Sec,  57;  Eomainville,  49;  Aubervillers,  66;  Fort  de  I'Est  de 
Saint  Denis,  52;  La  Briche,  61;  Mont  Valerien,  79 ;  Issy,  64; 
Vanvres,  45  ;  Montrouge,  43 ;  Bicetre,  40 ;  Ivry,  70. 

It  is  to  be  understood  that  the  numbers  of  guns  mentioned 
include  not  only  the  armaments  of  the  detached  forts,  but  also  of 
the  detached  outworks  in  connection  with  them,  and  the  auxiliary 
redoubts  and  other  defensible  posts,  as  well  as  a  suitable  artillery 
reserve.  After  the  occupation  of  the  works  by  the  Germans,  it 
became  evident,  moreover,  that  the  above  estimates  were  right  as 
regarded  the  total  numbers  ;  we  should  not  be  far  wrong  in  placing 
the  total  number  of  guns  in  Paris  at  about  2,000  pieces.  An 
artillery  park  was  formed  in  the  gardens  of  the  Tuileries. 

From  these  facts  it  is  clear  that  the  proportion  of  artillery  in 
Paris,  as  in  other  French  fortresses  was  everywhere  ample,  although 
the  nature  of  the  pieces,  the  variety  of  their  construction,  and  the 
description  of  carriages  may  not  have  been  altogether  suitable  to 
the  requirements  of  the  present  time.  In  this  respect  they  were 
not  in  France,  and  least  of  all  in' Paris,  so  far  advanced,  nor  so  well 
prepared  for  the  attack  and  defence  of  fortresses,  as  in  Prussia. 
Anyone  who  knows  the  arrangements  of  an  artillery  depot,  or  the 
peace  preparations  for  the  artillery  defence  of  a  Prussian  fortress, 
will  be  best  able  to  judge  what  was  wanted  in  such  a  case  at  Paris. 


Meanwhile  an  endeavour  was  made  -with  creditable  activity,  and 
with  much  judgment,  to  supply  the  deficiencies.  As  early  as  the 
middle  of  August  6,800  men  (later  on  also  women,  to  some  extent) 
were  employed  in  the  manufacture  of  cartridges  and  case-shot. 
Considerable  supplies  of  ammunition  of  all  sorts  were  brought  up 
from  Toulon  and  Montpellier,  where  there  are  great  cartridge 
factories.  The  large  foundries  and  iron  works  in  Paris  were  exclu- 
sively employed  in  preparing  shot  and  shell,  and  were  in  some 
measure  converted  into  arsenals.  During  the  siege  251,572  pro- 
jectiles for  cannon  and  1,000,000  bullets  for  mitrailleurs  were  made 
in  Paris.  In  the  engine  works  of  Cail  locomotives  were  built, 
with  iron  plated  sentry  boxes  for  drivers  and  stokers,  and  also  iron 
plated  trucks,  in  which  guns  were  placed.  Subsequently  goods 
wagons  were  converted  to  this  use,  and  they  had  plating  4^  inches 
thick.  The  works  to  resist  assault  were  armed  with  guns  of  every 
description,  and  this  was  hurried  on  principally  at  Point  du  Jom*, 
Auteuil,  and  Vaugirard.  and  at  the  detached  forts. 

To  supply  in  some  measure  the  want  of  trained,  expert 
gunners,  marine  artillery  were  ordered  to  Paris  in  great  numbers, 
and  to  their  soldierlike  bearing  and  steadiness  under  fire  all  praise 
is  due. 

The  fire  of  the  batteries  on  the  works  was,  however,  kept  up 
with  an  inexcusable  waste  of  ammunition,  apparently  according  to 
no  pre-arranged  plan,  and  without  skilful  supervision.  The  cost 
of  this  waste  of  ammunition  on  the  night  of  the  28th  to  29th  No- 
vember alone  has  been  estimated  at  120,000  thalers  (^18,000). 
Frequently  costly  projectiles  were  fired  at  solitary  patrols,  and 
objects  were  aimed  at  in  otlier  cases  without  any  good  reason  that 
could  be  assigned.  We  refer  to  the  destruction  of  the  mag-nificent 
palaces  of  St.  Cloud  and  Malmaison,  to  the  laying  in  ashes  of  the 
towns  and  numerous  villas  there,  acts  that  were  done  by  the  French 
themselves  in  the  most  reckless  manner. 

The  garrison  artillery  paid  not  the  least  attention  to  watching 
their  fire  for  the  purpose  of  fixing  its  elevation  and  direction; 
similarly  they  appeared  to  profit  but  little  by  the  great  advantage 
they  had  on  their  side  of  being  able  to  ascertain  the  distances  accu- 
rately. Under  these  circumstances  the  possession  of  the  best 
material  was  of  no  use  to  them.  Nevertherless,  the  pertinacity 
and  bravery  of  the  garrison  artillery  in  the  working  their  guns 
was  not  to  be  denied,  and  they  understood  how  to  take  advantage 
of  the  want  of  cover  of  their  opponents  on  every  occasion.  The 
artillery  fire  of  the  forts  derived  substantial  assistance  from  the 
guns  which  were  mounted  in  the  field  redoubts  in  front  of, 
between,  and  in  rear  of  them,  and  in  separate  emplacements. 
Most  of  the  forts  were  in  fact  connected  with  one  another  by 
a  military  road  constructed  for  the  purpose ;  from  these  roads 
trenches  branched  out  to  important  points,  which  afforded  a 
favourable  opportunity  for  bringing  an  unexpected  fire  to  bear  on 
the  ground  in  front. 

During  the  siege  particular  attention  was  attracted  to  a  new 
ong-ranging  gun,   which  fired  from  the  fortress  of  Mont  Val^- 


rien,  and  strewed  the  batteries  erected  against  the  south  front 
with  its  ponderous  projectiles,  as  far  as  9,000  paces  to  the 
westward.  The  French  named  it  Sainte  Valerie.  The  bore  had 
a  calibre  of  36  centimetres  (14|  inches).  The  projectile  weighed 
80  lbs.  (82-^  lbs.  English).  The  breech  closing  gear  was  removed 
when  the  fort  was  given  up,  so  that  the  gun  was  unservicea])le ;  it 
is  now  among  the  captured  artillery  at  Berlin. 

Provisioning. — The  chief  in  this  department  was  the  In- 
tendant-General  of  the  army  of  Paris,  Wolf.  With  regard  to 
the  provisioning  of  Paris,  the  defence  committee  had  to  solve  a 
very  serious  problem,  and  they  performed  their  task  so  as  to  elicit 
general  approval.  So  early  as  about  the  middle  of  August  con- 
voys of  provisions  ceased  to  be  sent  to  the  French  army  of  the 
Rhine,  since  it  was  very  well  known,  among  those  who  were  con- 
cerned, that  their  arrival  at  their  destination  was  doubtful.  Resort 
was  then  had  to  England,  and  shortly  after,  twenty-eight  ships, 
laden  with  flour,  left  Liverpool  under  sail  for  Havre.  The  defence 
committee  originally  contemplated  the  provision  of  food  for  two 
million  inhabitants  for  two  months,  and  arranged  that  all  the 
stocks  of  grain  should  be  sent  to  Paris  from  the  departments  of 
the  Seine  and  Marue,  where  corn  is  abundant,  and  which  are  also 
in  other  respects  fertile  and  wealthy.  This  measure  was  proved  to 
be  of  practical  utility,  and  it  was  made  more  stringently  operative 
by  a  decree  to  the  effect  that  all  stores,  which  were  in  the  line  of 
of  advance  of  the  Prussians  into  the  country,  should  be,  without 
exception,  destroyed.  The  issue  of  the  provisions  took  place  ac- 
cording to  a  plan,  of  which  the  prei^aration  and  execution  were 
undertaken  by  a  special  commission. 

The  herds  of  cattle  and  sheep  brought  up  by  the  Government 
were  placed  in  the  Bois  de  Vincennes,  in  the  Jardin  des  Plantes, 
in  the  outer  Boulevards,  and  in  the  Bois  de  Boulogne  ;  for  the  want 
of  fodder,  and  from  the  unfavourable  weather,  which  early  became 
very  cold,   the  cattle  suffered  extremely,  and  succumbed  in  great 
numbers,  and  latterly  cows  were  only  maintained  to   supply  milk 
for  the  hospitals  and  for  children.     The  Government,  moreover, 
took  all  the  care  that  circumstances  permitted ;  for  the  cattle  were 
bought  on  their  account,   and  sold,  either  to  the  butcher  or  the 
public,  at  a  fixed  price.     Naturally,  in  the  com'se  of  the  siege,  a 
great  advance  took  place  in  the  prices  of  all  provisions,  and  the 
want  of  butter,  salt,  and  of  vegetables,  eggs,  and  milk  was  much 
felt ;  the  flour  and  wine  were  not  exhausted  even  in  the  last  days  of 
the  siege.     That  people  >vere  driven  to  killing  dogs,  cats,  and  even 
rats,  need  not  much  astonish  us  with  so  large  a  population,  which 
included  a  considerable  number  of  the  poorer  classes;    but  the 
inhabitants,  as  a  whole,  must  have  suffered  much,  and  it  is  not 
surprising  that  among  the  aged  and  the  children  a  greater  mor- 
tality took  place  than  under  ordinary   circmnstances ;    this  was, 
moreover,  increased  by  hunger  and  the  cold  of  winter.     The  sub- 
sistence of  the  soldiers  was  naturally  a  great  soiu-ce  of  anxiety  ;  an 
actual  failure  of  provisions  for  the  troops  was  not   experienced 
during  the  whole  siege,  although  at  the  last  they  were  reduced  to 


the  consumption  of  horseflesh,  salt  meat,  bread,  and  wine,  and  a 
reduction  of  the  rations  took  place  to  150  grammes  (one-tliird  of 
a  pound).  Prisoners  and  wounded,  who  fell  into  our  hands  in  the 
sorties  of  December,  had  their  rations  for  four  or  five  days  with 
them  ;  as  the  prisoners,  however,  if  it  was  proposed  to  send  them 
back  to  the  fortress,  preferred  to  remain  with  us,  it  may  be  con- 
cluded that  the  subsistence  and  service  in  the  army  of  Paris  was 
not  much  to  their  taste. 

The  want  of  coals  for  fuel  and  for  the  manufacture  of  gas  was 
much  felt ;  and  wood  also,  in  the  later  periods  of  the  siege,  was 
scarcely  to  be  found  :  severe  measures  must  have  been  adopted  to 
secure  the  timber-yards  and  the  timber  in  the  defences  from 
plunder  and  depredation. 

As  was  the  case  at  Metz,  the  means  of  existence  in  Paris 
lasted  some  weeks  longer  than  one  was  at  first  inclined  to  expect. 
What  amount  of  provisions  were  actually  in  the  to'wn  on  the 
19th  September  will  never  be  known  witli  any  accuracy  ;  at  that 
time  the  authorities  concerned  apparently  did  not  believe  in  the 
possibility  of  holding  out  131  days,  to  the  28th  January.  In  this 
respect  the  report  is  at  length  gaining  credit  that  the  stores 
originally  existing  in  Paris,  exclusive  of  the  special  provision 
made  for  the  siege,  had  been  seriously  under-estimated ;  for  the 
quantity  of  provisions  that  could  have  been  conveyed  subsequently 
into  the  besieged  place,  in  spite  of  the  blockade,  is  not  worth 
taking  into  account. 

The  imminent  failure  of  provisions — the  actual  pressure  of 
hunger  in  the  city- — was,  at  any  rate,  one  of  tlie  chief  causes  of 
the  commencement  of  negotiations  for  surrender  ;  at  the  time  of 
the  three  weeks'  truce,  moreover,  it  was  at  its  height.  The  stocks 
of  flour  and  horseflesh  were  sufficient  only  for  eight  and  fourteen 
days  respectively ;  and  wdth  regard  to  this,  it  must  not  be  over- 
looked that  the  getting  in  of  fresh  supplies,  which  was  much 
facilitated  by  the  German  army  of  investment  handing  over 
3,000,000  rations,  and  throwing  open  the  roads  for  traffic,  took 
fourteen  days  longer,  during  which  time  the  want  of  provisions  in 
Paris  continued.  It  should  be  added  finally,  that  at  the  capitula- 
tion the  provisions  of  the  garrison  were  not  exhausted,  so  that  a 
portion  of  them  were  available  for  the  use  of  the  civil  population. 

Intelligence. — Very  soon  after  the  appearance  of  the  investing 
army  before  Paris  all  further  communication  with  the  country 
outside  was  cut  off;  the  last  post  was  despatched  on  the  18th 
September.  Subsequently  an  underground  telegraph  to  Tours 
was  discovered,  and  also  another  line  which  w^as  led  along  the  bed 
of  the  river  Seine  to  Havre  ;  the  latter  w^as  fished  up  accidentally 
at  Bougival  during  the  pontooning  operations  of  the  Prussians  for 
the  military  bridge  at  that  place,  and  it,  as  well  as  the  former,  was 
destroyed.  A  like  fate  befell  the  floating  hollow  balls  and  diving- 
machines;*  the  Prussians  had  nets  spread  across  the  stream,  and 

*  Taucher-boten — probably  some  apparatus  arranged  to  float  down  with  the 
stream  below  the  surface  of  the  water. 


caught  them.  Letter-carriers,  disguised  as  sellers  of  vegetables,  en- 
deavoured to  slip  through  the  outposts:  this  also  was  impracticable ; 
only  five  out  of  eighty-five  returned  !  The  only  road  not  suspected 
was  that  through  the  catacombs  of  Paris,  but  the  foolhardy  people 
who  ventured  by  it  perished  there ;  even  bloodhounds  undertook 
the  conveyance  of  letters,  but  they  also  did  not  come  back. 

The  chief  part  in  the  transmission  of  news  was  played  by  air- 
balloons,  and  for  their  manufacture  and  filling  special  factories 
with  hundreds  of  workmen  were  established  at  the  Northern  and 
Eastern  railway  stations  ;  they  were  under  the  management  of 
the  well-known  aeronaut,  Godard.  A  school  of  aeronauts  was 
established  ;  a  committee  of  professional  and  scientific  persons 
devoted  themselves  to  this  business.  The  first  voyage  through 
the  air,  that  was  of  any  use,  was  made  by  the  aeronaut  Duruof 
on  the  23rd  September  ;  on  the  8th  October  M.  Grambetta  followed 
him,  and  probably  also  officers,  with  special  commissions  to 
arrange  for  combined  action  with  the  generals  commanding  the 
masses  of  the  enemy  who  were  operating  in  the  open  field.  During 
the  period  from  the  23rd  September  1870  to  the  23rd  January 
1871,  fifty-four  balloons  were  sent  off  from  Paris  ;  they  conveyed 
some  persons  who  took  charge  of  the  balloons,  and  several  hundred- 
weights of  letters.  The  use  of  this  contrivance  by  the  public  was 
regulated  by  special  orders,  and  letters  conveyed  by  balloon  were 
not  allowed  to  exceed  4  *  grammes  in  weight.  Altogether,  2,500,000 
letters,  weighing  about  10,000  f  kilogrammes,  were  forwarded. 
The  ascents  were  made  from  the  railway  stations  of  the  Orleans, 
Northern,  and  Eastern  railways ;  from  Montmartre,  the  Tuileries 
gardens,  &c.  Some  balloons,  moreover,  strayed  away  to  Eothen- 
burg  in  Hesse,  to  Holland,  and  to  Norway ;  of  the  fate  of  many 
others  nothing  was  ever  heard.  Besides  these  larger  air-balloons, 
there  were  smaller  ones  six  to  seven  ij:  metres  in  diameter,  called 
ballons  libres,  by  which  letters  only  were  sent  to  the  care  of  "  the 
esteemed  finder."  Captive  balloons,  with  cords  and  ropes,  hanging 
over  Paris,  served  for  observing  the  positions  of  the  enemy,  and 
for  watching  the  sorties  from  the  fortress. 

Great  numbers  of  carrier-pigeons  had  been  brought  from 
Belgium,  and  the  prefect  of  Lille  sent  900  of  these  birds  to 
.Paris  just  before  the  investment.  They  were  generally  sent 
out  with  the  air-balloons — of  course  enclosed  in  cages — and 
were  intended  to  bring  back  the  answer  to  the  balloon  letters. 
These  carriers,  however,  during  the  latter  part  of  the  siege,  fre- 
quently failed  to  come  in,  and  proved  untrustworthy.  Some  were 
prevented  from  returning  by  the  foggy  weather,  and  some  sought 
theii-  Flemish  homes.  Of  200  carrier-pigeons  let  go  from  Paris 
only  73  got  back.  The  despatches  tied  to  them  contained  70,000 
words,  which  were  reduced  in  size  by  photography.  The  manage- 
ment of  the  air-balloons  and  carrier-pigeons  was  entrusted  to  the 
ingenious  post-master,  Eamport  de  Chin. 

*  About  ith  part  of  an  oz.  avoirdupois, 
t  About  9  tons  16  cwt. 
t  20  to  23  feet. 


Observatories  were  established  on  Montmartre,  the  Pantheon, 
and  the  towers  of  Notre  Dame,  which  were  chiefly  employed  in 
watching  the  flat  country  on  the  west  and  north-east  sides.  The 
forts  were  connected  by  underground  telegraph  with  the  several 
head-quarters,  particularly  with  the  Place  Vendome,  and  also  with 
one  another.  Besides  all  this,  visual  signals — in  part  also  arranged 
for  use  at  night — were  used  for  enabling  the  commandants  of  forts 
to  communicate  with  one  another. 

From  the  fortress  of  IMont  Valerien,  which  afforded  the  most 
extensive  view,  pre-arranged  flag-signals  were  made ;  on  the  side 
of  the  Germans  it  was  believed  that  there  was  always  a  certain 
warning  if  a  sortie  was  contemplated,  and  the  attention  of  the 
besiegers  was  always  doubly  increased  by  these  signals. 

By  electrical  light-apparatus,  which  was  directed  on  the  posi- 
tions of  the  enemy  before  the  town,  they  endeavoured  to  observe  the 
works  vmdertaken  there  at  night.  An  ample  supply  of  the  requisite 
material,  and  excellent  apparatus  worked  by  skilful  operators,  were 
abundant  in  Paris,  and  rendered  easy  this  mode  of  illumination. 

On  the  German  side  there  were  told  off  for  the  investment  of 
Paris  the  Ilird  army,  under  the  command  of  the  Crown  Prince  of 
Prussia,  consisting  of  the  Vth,  Vlth,  and  Xlth  Prussian  corps,  the 
two  Bavarian  corps,  and  the  Wiirtemberg  division,  about  140,000 
strong ;  and  the  IVth  army,  under  the  command  of  the  Crown 
Prince  of  Saxony,  composed  of  the  Prussian  guard  and  IVth  corps, 
and  of  the  Xlltli  (Saxon)  corps,  about  80,000  strong.  The 
German  army  of  investment  was  thus  of  the  total  strength  of  only 
220,000  men,  for  the  reinforcements  sent  from  Germany  had  not 
at  that  time  arrived. 

As  early  as  the  16th  September  the  advanced  guard  of  the 
German  cavalry  division,  which  had  been  pushed  forward  one  or 
two  marches  in  front  of  the  attacking  armies,  appeared  at  Creteil, 
Nouilly,  Corbeille,  and  Clamart.  Their  task  was  to  destroy  the 
telegraphs,  as  well  as  to  intercept  the  supplies  for  Paris,  and  they 
were  intended,  on  the  other  hand,  to  save  the  railways  and  prevent 
the  demolition  of  the  bridges ;  under  these  circumstances  there 
occurred  some  minor  engagements  with  the  French  detachments 
sent  out  of  the  forts  to  reconnoitre. 

Septemhei'  17. — Nevertheless  the  advanced  guards  of  the  Ilird 
army  found  the  permanent  bridges  over  the  Seine  at  Corbeille 
andVilleneuve-St.  George  destroyed.  It  became  necessary,  there- 
fore, at  once  to  establish  a  new  means  of  crossing  the  Seine.  For 
this  purpose  the  5th  pioneer  battalion  formed  a  pontoon  bridge 
above  Villeneuve-St.  George  at  half-past  3  o'clock  in  the  after- 
noon, which  was  immediately  crossed  by  the  2nd  division  of 

To  cover  the  formation  of  the  bridge  the  17th  brigade  of 
infantry,  with  two  squadrons  and  two  batteries,  had  taken  up  a 
position  on  the  heights  at  Limeuil,  in  the  direction  of  Boissy  St. 
Legere.  This  detachment  was  attacked  at  2  r.M.  by  six  French, 
battalions  and  two  batteries.     After  a  severe  engagement  in  the 


woods  of  Valenton  the  enemy  fell  back  on  Creteil,  and  the  passage 
of  the  Grerman  forces  over  the  pontoon-bridge,  which  had  been 
formed  in  the  meantime,  was  not  further  interfered  with. 

On  the  18th  September  the  Vth  army  corps  commenced  their 
march  on  Palaiseau  and  Bievre.  At  Dame  Eose  there  was  a  slight 
engagement  between  detachments  of  the  9th  division  and  the 
French  outposts,  but  this  did  not  at  all  delay  the  further  advance 
on  Versailles. 

On  the  19th  September  a  more  serious  encounter  took  place  on 
the  plateau  of  Petit  Bicetre,  and  Plessis-Piquet,  which  had  been 
carefully  prepared  for  defence.  The  Eoyal  Bavarian  army  had  also 
in  great  part  crossed  the  Seine  at  Corbeille  on  pontoon-bridges,  and 
was  on  the  18th  brought  forward  as  far  as  the  neighbourhood  of 
Longjumeau  and  Palaiseau ;  their  Ilnd  corps  on  the  19tli  followed 
the  Prussian  Vth  corps  on  the  road  to  Versailles,  to  which  place 
the  head-quarters  of  the  Crown  Prince  of  Prussia  were  to  be  trans- 
ferred on  the  20tli  September.  On  the  French  side  General 
Ducrot,  with  the  13th  corps,  had  advanced  to  the  road  from 
Fontainebleau  and  Orleans,  in  order  to  prevent  the  occupation  of 
the  plateaus  Clamart-Chatillon  and  Plessis-Piquet,  which  were  of 
the  greatest  military  importance.  As  a  point  d'appui  he  occupied 
the  intrenchment  of  Moulin  de  la  Tour,  previously  mentioned, 
which  was  not  yet  finished.  On  the  left  the  French  had  occupied 
Sceaux ;  their  right  rested  on  the  park  of  Meudon. 

By  6  A.M.  the  advanced  guard  of  the  Vth  Prussian  corps  (King's 
grenadiers,  and  47th  regiment)  had  attacked  the  enemy,  who  was 
six  times  stronger  than  themselves.  At  Petit-Bicetre  a  brisk  en- 
gagement began,  and  was  maintained  with  equal  obstinacy  on  both 
sides  for  several  hours.  It  did  not  cease  until  a  brigade  of  the  1st 
Bavarian  division,  under  Colonel  Diehl,  was  sent  forward  in  support. 
Later  on  the  10th  division  was  directed  on  Villa  Coublay, 
and  the  corps  artillery  was  advanced.  About  11  o'clock  the 
enemy  beat  a  retreat  on  the  entrenchments  of  Moulin  de  la  Tour. 
While  a  Bavarian  bi'igade  was  directed  on  Sceaux,  the  8th  brigade 
of  the  4th  Bavarian  division  was  sent  to  Croix  de  Bernis,  the  7th 
towards  Bourg ;  with  these  movements  the  enemy  was  to  be  out- 
flanked. In  the  meanwhile,  about  a  quarter  to  12,  the  enemy 
again  made  a  stand,  and  attacked  Fontenay  and  Plessis  vigorously. 
The  fight  thickened,  and  the  artillery  took  a  large  share  in  it. 
The  French  fired  with  six  batteries  from  the  entrenchment 
of  Moulin  de  la  Tour,  and  other  strongly  fortified  positions  in 
front  of  and  beside  it,  the  Grermans  from  well-covered  posi- 
tions opposite.  About  half-past  1  o'clock  the  French  ventured 
an  attack  on  the  Bavarian  position,  and  then,  failing  of  success, 
fell  back  about  half-past  2.  The  3rd  Bavarian  division  pur- 
sued them  with  the  3rd  battalion  of  jagers,  detachments  of  the 
14th  regiment,  two  batteries,  and  a  regiment  of  light  horse, 
occupied  the  abandoned  entrenchment  of  Moulin  de  la  Tour, 
and  captured  there  seven  12-pounder  field-pieces.  The  French 
continued  their  retreat  uninterrupted  to  Paris.  The  Vth  corps 
had,   in   the  forenoon,    when    the    enemy   fell    back    at    Petit- 


Bicetre,  resumed  their  advance  on  Versailles.  They  arrived  there 
towards  evening-,  took  2,000  of  the  garde  mobile  prisoners,  and  oc- 
cupied at  once  the  entrenchments  thrown  up  by  the  French  at  Mont- 
retout  and  Sevres.  The  captured  works  at  Sevres,  and  at  Moulin 
de  la  Tour  were  henceforth  named  by  the  Germans  the  Kron- 
prinz,  the  Jager,  and  the  Bavarian  entrenchments.  The  YIth 
Prussian  corps  crossed  the  Seine  at  Villeneuve,  the  advanced 
guard  by  the  bridge  made  by  the  Vth  corps,  the  rest  by  one  they 
had  made  themselves  in  the  meantime,  and  went  on  to  Orly.  Its 
further  advance  was  prevented  by  the  fire  from  the  lately-con- 
structed but  unfinished  French  entrenchment  at  Villejuif.  Towards 
evening  this  redoubt  was  occupied  by  the  Prussians,  but  unfortunately 
was  given  up  again,  because  it  was  no  longer  tenable  in  the  face  of 
the  heavy  fire  from  the  retired  positions  of  the  French.  The  army 
corps  placed  their  outposts  on  the  line  Chevilly  to  Choisy. 

On  the  evening  of  the  1 9th  September  the  outposts  of  the  Ilird 
army  stood  on  the  line  Bougival,  Sevres,  Meudon,  Bourg,  L'Hay, 
Chevilly,  Thiais,  Choisy-le-Eoi,  Bonneville,  Creteil,  Champigny, 
Brie ;  in  corresponding  positions  in  rear,  were  the  Vth  corps, 
the  1st  and  Ilnd  Bavarian  corps,  the  Vlth  and  Xlltli  corps,  and 
the  Wurtemberg  division. 

At  Les  Tanneries,  and  in  the  neighbourhood  of  Bougival  and 
Tournay,  communication  was  established  over  the  Seine  and 
Marne  respectively,  by  means  of  pontoon-bridges,  with  the  IVth 
army.  This  army  performed  their  march  on  Paris  without  meet- 
ing with  any  resistance;  except  that,  between  Pierrefitte  and 
Montmagny,  a  slight  engagement  took  place,  which  resulted  in  the 
capture,  by  detachments  of  the  IVth  corps,  of  the  fortified  positions 
occupied  by  the  French.  Le  Bourget  and  Drancy  remained  in 
the  occupation  of  the  enemy,  who  did  not  fall  back  here  till  the 
20tli  September.  The  outposts  of  the  IVth  army  stood  generally 
on  the  line  Neuilly,  Villemomble,  Le  Bourget,  Dugny,  Stains, 
Pierrefitte,  Epinay,  Argenteuil,  Besons.  The  head-quarters  of  the 
IVth  Army  were  in  Grrand  Tremblay ;  those  of  the  King  in  Ferrieres, 
the  chateau  of  the  Rothschilds,  on  the  left  bank  of  Uie  ]Marne  not 
far  from  Lagny ;  from  this  point  he  overlooked  the  positions  of 
the  two  investing  armies. 

The  machinery  of  government,  organised  and  centralised  in 
Paris  for  the  whole  of  France,  was  thus  thrown  out  of  gear,  and 
all  communication  between  the  army  in  Paris  and  the  armies  in 
the  field,  either  investing  or  in  process  of  formation,  was  cut  oflf. 

The  leader  of  the  Grerman  army  had,  with  unerring  glance,  se- 
lected the  south  as  generally  the  weakest  front  for  the  principal 
attack;  and  this  on  a  close  examination  was  seen  to  have,  also 
defensively,  a  special  cause  of  weakness  which  we  will  mention  here. 

The  fortress  of  Mont  Valerien  protects  the  west  side  of  Paris. 
This  work  is  intended  not  only  to  prevent  any  approach  on  the 
peninsula  of  Nanterre  to  the  gorge  of  the  works  of  St.  Denis,  but 
also  to  defend  effectively  the  ground  towards  St.  Cloud  and  Sevres. 
The  guns  of  the  adjoining  work.  Fort  Issy,  cover  the  bend  of  the 
Seine  at  Billancourt.     But  in  order  to  strengthen  the  position 


protected  by  Mont  Valerien  in  the  direction  of  St.  Cloud  and 
Sevres,  where  the  effective  action  of  the  fort  was  weakened, 
not  only  by  the  distance  of  4,000  to  4,500  metres,  but 
also  by  the  formation  of  the  ground,  the  work  already  men- 
tioned was  constructed  at  Montretout,  as  soon  as  Paris  was  put 
into  a  state  of  defence.  The  work  fell  into  the  hands  of  the 
Prussians  when  half-finished.  Under  these  circumstances  the  fort 
of  Mont  Valerien  had  to  protect  the  ground  as  far  as  St.  Cloud, 
where  the  duty  was- taken  up  by  Fort  Issy.  Eeckoning  the  effective 
range  of  the  guns  of  the  two  works  at  3,500  metres,  there  would 
remain  at  Sevres  and  Bellevue  a  dead  space,  which  was  of  great 
advantage  to  us.  These  circumstances  were  favom-able  for  an 
approach,  as  secure  as  possible,  to  Fort  Issy  and  also  to  Point  du 
Jour.  The  exit  of  the  Seine,  moreover,  weakens  the  latter  point, 
which  we  should  probably  have  selected,  in  case  of  need,  for  an 
advance  on  Paris. 

Viewed  in  this  light,  as  the  result  shewed,  the  determination 
to  take  up  a  position  on  the  south  of  the  fortress  and  direct  the 
principal  attack  on  that  side  was  most  fortunate,  and  the  im- 
mediate capture  of  the  works,  which  had  been  just  thrown  up 
by  the  French  in  preparation  for  the  siege,  had  the  most  im- 
portant results  on  the  progress  of  the  attack. 

The  next  step  was  for  the  investing  army  to  establish  itself 
firmly  in  the  positions  which  it  occupied,  that  not  only  should  all 
communications  be  cut  off  between  the  capital  and  the  people  of 
the  country,  but  it  should  also  become  impossible  for  the  garrison, 
in  spite  of  its  superiority  of  numbers,  to  break  through  and 
establish  communication  with  the  French  armies  of  the  north 
and  south,  which  were  in  process  of  formation  or  in  the  field  ; 
that  in  fact  the  French,  at  every  point  of  the  girdle  around  them, 
might  be  so  long  held  at  bay  as  to  allow  the  German  troops  to 
arrive  in  sufficient  force  to  drive  them  back  into  the  fortress. 
Each  army  corps  had  its  own  well-defined  position  of  the  circle 
of  investment,  which  it  had  to  occupy  and  strengthen  by 
suitable  works  of  fortification.  The  redoubts  captured  at 
the  first  onset  of  the  Grerman  army  afforded  a  strong  point  of 
support,  for  which  purpose  they  were  turned  about  towards  the 
enemy,  the  original  gorge  being  converted  into  the  front  of  the 
work,  and  the  entrance  made  upon  our  side.  At  a  greater  dis- 
tance points  of  support  were  also  found  in  the  numerous  villages, 
which  from  their  very  massive  construction  were  well  adapted  for 
the  purposes  of  defence.  The  approaches  to  the  villages  were, 
therefore,  barricaded,  the  communications  of  every  kind  repaired, 
walls  favourably  situated  were  provided  with  loopholes  and  ban- 
quettes, alarm  posts  were  established,  and  huts  built  to  shelter 
those  troops  who  were  held  in  constant  readiness. 

The  principal  objects  during  the  whole  of  the  operations  of 
the  investment  were  the  construction  of  works  for  the  security 
of  the  troops  at  a  greater  or  less  distance  from  the  forts, 
and  the  establishment  of  a  line  of  obstacles  to  be  defended 
by  musketry.     This  was  intended  to  compel  the  enemy  to  deploy 


his  forces  as  slowly  as  possible,  and  to  give  our  troops  time  to 
occupy  the  line  of  works  in  rear.  In  the  line  of  obstacles  openings 
were  left  in  case  of  our  being  able  to  take  the  offensive.  The 
obstacles  consisted  of  abattis,  and  the  existing  walls  and  buildings, 
which  were  made  capable  of  defence.  The  line  of  defences  behind 
these  obstacles,  and  prepared  in  a  similar  manner,  was  principally 
occupied  by  infantry,  owing  to  the  ground  in  front  not  being 
generally  exposed  to  view.  According  to  the  nature  of  the 
groimd,  greater  or  smaller  entrenchments  were  formed  in  this 
line  of  defences,  and  partly  in  front,  partly  in  flank  or  rear, 
artillery  emplacements  were  made  and  strongly  secured  by  works 
to  resist  the  sorties  in  force,  which  were  to  be  expected  sub- 

It  would  take  too  long  to  enumerate  the  several  works  of  this 
kind  in  the  circle  of  investment ;  we  will  take,  therefore,  only  one 
section  of  the  ground,  and  select  that  which  the  Vth  and  Vlth 
corps  had  to  occupy  and  arrange  for  defence. 

The  Vth  corps  had  the  ground  between  Meudon  and  Bougival 
to  defend.  The  line  of  obstacles  in  that  quarter  comprised  the 
northern  boundary  fence  of  Meudon,  was  continued  by  rifle-pits, 
&c.  round  Bellevue  to  the  Crown  Prince  battery,  and  followed 
thence  the  steep  slope  to  St.  Cloud,  as  far  as  the  Montrecout 
redoubt,  where  a  gap  occurred  for  the  attack  of  the  ground  in 
front  of  jMont  Valerien.  Abattis  and  rifle-pits  crowned  the  heights 
of  Grarches,  and  led  on  to  the  eastern  boundary  of  Bougival, 
ending  here  on  the  Seine.  The  line  of  obstacles  was  flanked 
along  its  length  by  being  broken  back  in  some  places,  by  block- 
houses on  it  and  annexed  to  it,  and  by  the  Crown  Prince  and 
Montretout  redoubts.  The  line  of  works  in  rear  began  in  the 
east  with  the  parks  of  Chalais,  Meudon,  and  St.  Cloud,  which 
were  arranged  for  defence ;  a  series  of  entrenchments  led  over 
the  plateau  of  Grarches  to  the  stud  enclosure,  which,  as  the 
centre  of  the  position,  was  secured  by  abattis,  a  number  of 
batteries,  and  self-defensible  earthworks,  and  so  on  in  the  same 
manner  to  Bougival.  In  rear  of  this  line,  on  the  edge  of  the 
plateau  towards  the  villages  Ville  d'Avray,  Marnes,  and  Yau- 
cresson,  emplacements  were  arranged  for  batteries  and  strongly 
defended  with  works. 

The  Vlth  corps  had  to  cover  the  ground  between  the  Seine  and 
Bievre,  beginning  at  Villeneuve-St.  George,  the  same  place  where 
subsequently  were  the  two  bridges  allotted  for  the  use  of  the 
siege-train.  Next  was  the  northern  boundary  of  Choisy,  par- 
ticularly the  churchyard,  which  was  fortified  in  the  most  formidable 
manner,  barricaded,  and  rendered  completely  secure  against  the 
assault  of  infantry.  Oj)posite,  lay  the  village  of  Vitry,  also  fortified 
by  the  French,  and  close  at  hand  were  some  gunboats  on  the  Seine. 
Further  to  the  westward,  and  within  our  position  came  the  vil- 
lages of  Thiais  and  Choisy,  both  fortified ;  opposite,  but  in  the 
possession  of  the  French,  were  Villejuif,  which  was  also  fortified, 
and  a  redoubt  at  the  same  place,  both  covered  by  Fort  Bicetre. 
At  the  junction  of  the  high  roads  to  Versailles  and  Fontainebleau 


and  inside  the  German  position  la}'  the  strongly  enti'enched 
farm  of  La  Belle  EjMne,  the  central  point  of  an  artillery  position 
containing  84  field  guns,  strengthened  and  covered  by  shelter 
trenches  for  six  battalions ;  and  next  to  it,  pushed  forward  on. 
the  slope  of  the  right  bank  of  the  Bievre,  was  the  village  of 
L'Hay  with  the  wall  skirting  its  edge  arranged  for  a  deter- 
mined resistance,  being  the  point  of  support  for  a  brigade. 

Opposite  lay  the  enemy's  redoubt  of  Haute  Bruyeres  (Cachan) 
covered  by  Fort  Bicetre.  The  outposts  of  the  Prussian  position 
at  this  point  were  also  protected  by  a  line  of  obstacles  with 
shelter  trenches  and  other  arrangements  for  defence,  whilst  the 
section  of  ground  to  be  held  was  rendered  secure  by  formidable 
fortified  posts  and  entrenched  emplacements  for  the  employment 
of  masses  of  artillery. 

In  the  low  country  eastward  of  St.  Denis,  where  the  French 
positions  were  protected  by  inundations,  the  Guard  Corps  had 
in  a  similar  manner  rendered  the  section  from  Seoran  to  Dugny 
impassable  by  damming  up  the  Morce  stream,  so  that  only  two 
narrow  defiles  were  available,  namely,  at  Port  Iblon  on  the 
embanked  high  road  of  Lille,  and  at  Aulnay.  This  inundation 
was  defended  by  the  strongly  fortified  villages  of  Dugny,  Le  Blanc- 
Mesnil,  and  Aulnay,  which  were  somewhat  retired,  Le  Blanc- 
Mesnil  being  the  centre  of  the  defence.  Shelter  trenches  and 
positions  for  artillery  were  formed  on  the  undulating  ground  in 
rear  of  the  inundation,  and  gave  a  gi-eat  power  of  resistance  to 
the  section  of  the  ground.  Opposed  was  the  French  position  as 
described  at  par.  17,  page  129,  and,  from  a  consideration  of  their 
mutual  position,  it  is  easy  to  understand  why  the  village  of 
Le  Bourget  became  the  object  of  constant  attacks  from  both 
sides.  The  intended  inundation  of  the  Moree  by  the  Germans 
would  hardly  have  succeeded  on  account  of  the  small  supply 
of  water,  had  it  not  received  a  considerable  contribution  by 
damming  up  the  Ourcq  canal  at  Sevran.  This  arrangement 
proved  further  disadvantageous  to  the  enemy  by  reducing  the 
supply  to  the  St.  Denis  inundation  and  withdrawing  a  cer- 
tain quantity  of  drinking  water  from  the  inhabitants  of  Paris. 
The  execution  of  this  interesting  work  was  entrusted  to 
Captain  von  Krause  of  the  Engineers.  When  the  inundation 
froze  during  the  winter  it  had  to  be  broken  up  in  a  number  of 

The  establishment  of  communications  by  constructing  roads 
for  the  supply  and  transport  columns,  and  providing  them  all 
with  guide  posts  for  the  information  of  the  troops,  caused  con- 
siderable labour,  as  did  also  the  erection  of  barricades  of  all 
sorts,  and  the  building;  of  bridges  and  roads  for  the  coiumunica- 
tions  between  the  corps  ;  of  this  kind  were  the  bridges  built  at 
Le  Pecq,  Bougival,  Les  Tanneries,  Triel,  Villeneuve,  St.  Georges, 
at  Gournaz  over  the  Marne,  at  Chatout,  two  at  Corbeille, 
without  counting  many  other  foot-bridges  over  brooks  and 
hollow  roads.  In  places  where  it  was  necessary,  these  t*tructures 
were  secured  against  a  coup-de-main  by  an  entrenchment. 


Later,  when  the  winter  set  in,  it  required  great  care  to  presei've 
them,  or  some  at  least,  from  the  floating  masses  of  ice  on  the 
Seine ;  a  few  had  to  be  removed  and  the  permanent  bridges 
lying  far  in  rear  of  the  investing  army  to  be  utilized. 

With  regard  to  the  tactical  considerations  of  the  besieging 
army,  it  was  above  all  things  necessary  to  adapt  the  defence  in 
the  best  manner  to  the  peculiarities  of  the  ground.  Each  divi- 
sion had  about  one-fifth  to  one-sixth  of  its  strength  on  outpost 
duty.  These,  together  with  the  picquets  (sometimes  with  guns 
attached),  and  the  supports,  had  fortified  the  particular  point 
indicated  to  them  where  a  stand  was  to  be  made,  and  had  in- 
structions to  receive  the  enemy  in  that  position.  The  woods 
and  undulations  of  the  ground,  which  limited  the  field  of  view 
towards  the  enemy,  made  the  erection  of  observations  a  necessity 
for  the  investing  army  ;  one  was  on  the  Marly  aqueduct  which 
carries  water  for  the  fountains  at  Versailles  over  the  Seine  on 
36  arches  at  a  height  of  643  metres  above  the  Seine  ;  this  was 
often  used  by  the  Emperor-King  on  account  of  the  distant  view 
it  commanded  ;  besides  this  there  were  others,  viz.,  in  the  redoubt 
of  IVIoulin  de  la  Tour,  at  Malmaison,  at  Bougival,  at  the  Lantern 
of  Diogenes,  in  the  Villa  du  Barry,  at  Sevres,  at  Le  Blanc- 
Mesnil  and  other  places.  Semaphores  also  were  erected  for 
signalling  by  day  and  night. 

At  the  principal  commands  intelligence-bureaux  were  esta- 
blished, and  a  service  for  the  transmission  of  important  orders 
by  mounted  orderlies,  organised  in  relays,  posted  partly  at  the 
picquets,  and  partly  at  cross  roads.  Independently  of  this,  all 
divisional  staffs  were  connected  with  the  corps,  and  head 
quarter  staff,  by  means  of  the  field  telegraph. 

As  occurred  before  many  other  French  fortresses,  so  at  Paris, 
the  bearers  of  fiags  of  truce  were  fired  upon,  contrary  to  all 
the  customs  of  war ;  this  happened,  for  example,  on  the  1st  of 
October  to  Lieutenant  v.  Kissing,  and  on  the  23rd  December  to 
Ist  Lieutenant  v.  XJslar. 

The  destruction  of  the  tunnel  at  Nanteuil,  to  which  allusion 
has  already  been  made,  did  not  particularly  increase  the  diffi- 
culties of  the  advance  of  the  Ilird  arni}^,  but  it  was  a  serious 
obstacle  in  the  formation  of  the  siege  parks.  During  its  restora- 
tion, when  the  temporary  wooden  supports  were  nearly  com- 
pleted, the  whole  gave  way  in  consequence  of  the  pressure  of  the 
superincumbent  chalk,  so  that  recourse  had  to  be  made  to  a 
branch  line  to  turn  the  obstacle,  which  was  finished  in  the  latter 
part  of  November.  With  the  fall  of  Soissons,  a  second  line  of  rail 
became  available  for  the  besiegers  on  the  east  side,  but  on  the 
west  and  north-west  front  the  line  of  communication  to  the  rear 
by  Laon  and  Compiegne  was  only  opened  after  the  fall  of  La 

At  the  beginning  of  the  siege,  in  consequence  of  the  want  of 

railway  communication  with  the  provision  magazines  in  rear, 

the  supply  of  the  armies  Avas  a  very  difficult  task;   it  required 

the  greatest  activity  and  foresight  on  the  part  of  the  commis- 

36996.  L 


sariat  officials  to  cany  on  the  duty  in  a  satisfactory  manner.  In 
addition  to  the  regular  service  of  supplies  of  all  kinds  from 
Germany,  which  were  accumulated  in  the  magazines  in  rear  of 
the  investing  army,  necessity  soon  required  the  levy  of  requisi- 
tions in  the  districts  beyond  the  immediate  neighbourhood, 
which  had  been  already  exliausted  by  the  French.  Opinions 
have  been  expressed  very  strongly  against  this  mode  of  requisi- 
tioning, without  recognising  the  laws  of  war  by  which  an  army 
has  to  support  itself  in  an  enemy's  country.  Requisttions  of 
this  sort  required  convoys,  as  not  only  was  the  populace  hostile, 
but  collisions  with  the  francs-tireurs  were  of  constant  occurrence. 
The  escorts  for  them  were  provided  by  detachments  of  cavalry 
accompanied  by  infantry  on  wagons.  When,  during  December 
and  January,  the  railway  by  Amiens  and  Laon,  and  the  lines  to 
Rouen  and  Orleans  became  available,  the  supply  of  provisions 
was  an  easier  task ;  as  an  illustration  of  the  requirements,  we 
may  add,  that  the  daily  provision  and  forage  transport  for  a 
single  army  corps  was  about  5  trains  of  32  wagons  each.  The 
daily  provision  and  forage  supply  for  the  armies  before  Paris  was 
about  the  following :  148,000  three-pound  loaves,  1,020  cwt,  of 
rice  or  grain,  595  bullocks  or  1,020  cwt.  of  bacon,  144  cwt.  of  salt, 
9,600  cwt.  of  oats,  2,400  cwt.  of  hay,  28,000  quarts  of  brandy. 

After  this  description  of  the  circumstances  of  the  investment, 
we  shall  notice  next  the  principal  sorties,  and  after  them,  the 
artillery  attacks  which  led  to  the  fall  of  the  capital. 

The  object  of  the  smaller  sorties  was  to  molest  and  alarm  our 
outposts,  as  well  as  to  make  demonstrations  for  special  purposes  ; 
they  never  caused  any  important  interruption  in  the  works  of 
the  investment  or  siege,  and  did  not  appear  to  have  that  pin-pose 
in  view ;   it  was  only  in  the  last  days  of  the   siege,  about  the 
middle    of  January,    that    small    sorties    were    made    against 
the  batteries  of    the  attack  on    the  south  front.      The  sorties 
en  masse,  however,  played  an  important  part,  having  no  less  an 
object  than  to  pierce  the  investing  line,  and  form  a  junction  with 
the  French  armies  operating  in  the  north,  south,  and  west. 
'  Such  sorties  were  preconcerted  with  the  commanders  of  the 
armies  in  the  field,  who  were  probably  informed  of  the  intended 
operations  by  means  of  the  balloon  post.     We  received  infor- 
mation of  these  undertakings,  days  and  weeks  beforehand,  partly 
by  means  of  prisoners  or  deserters,  partly  also  by  the  visible  stir 
on  the  other  side,  so  that  we  were  always  found  prepared.     These 
lengthened  preparations  were  probably  necessitated  by  political 
reasons,  such  as  to  tranquilize   the  Parisian  populace,  who,  in 
ignorance  of  the  true  state  of  things,  were  pressing  for  sorties  which 
could  have  no  good  result.     The  march  of  large  bodies  of  troops 
towards  the  locality  of  the  intended  sortie,  Avhich  took  place 
generally  by  means  of  the  circular  railway,  conspicuous  on  its 
embankment,  as  well  as  on  those  sections  of  rail  leading  beyond 
the  works,  and  the  movement  of  the  troops  between  the  enceinte 
and  the  outer  forts,  could  not  escape  the  notice  of  those  in  the 
observatories,  or  in  the  German  outposts. 


It  was  in  consequence  of  the  movement  of  troops  out  of  Paris 
on  the  1 9th  of  September,  that  St.  Cloud  was  occupied  on  the 
21st  of  that  month. 

September  23.  The  French  undertook  small  reconnaissances 
directed  from  St.  Denis  against  Pierrefitte,  from  Aubervilliers 
towards  Le  Bourget,  and  from  Fort  Bicetre  against  Villejuif. 

September  24.  The  outposts  at  Sevres  and  St.  Cloud  were 
engaged  with  some  gunboats  stationed  at  Suresnes. 

On  September  30  there  was  a  more  considerable  sortie,  which 
the  enemy  had  announced  on  the  27th  and  28th  by  changes  in 
the  positions  of  the  troops  outside  the  fortress.  General  Vinoy 
attacked  the  12th  division  with  six  battalions  between  Choisy 
le  Koi  and  La  Belle  Epine,  supported  by  Forts  Montrouge  and 
Bicetre,  whilst  he  made  demonstrations  on  his  left  wing  with  a 
brigade  against  the  Xlth  corps,  and  on  his  right  wing  with 
three  battalions  against  the  Vth  corps  at  Sevres  and  Meudon. 
At  Bas  Meudon  he  threw  a  bridge  over  the  Seine,  The  fighting 
began  at  6  o'clock  in  the  morning  and  turned  on  the  possession 
of  L'ELay,  which  was  bravely  defended  by  the  23rd  regiment, 
but  had  eventually  to  be  evacuated.  It  was  soon  perceived 
that  the  attacks  on  the  wings  were  only  demonstrations ;  the 
Vlth  corps  therefore  concentrated  its  reserves,  and,  supported 
by  some  Bavarian  detachments,  drove  the  enemy  again  out  of 
L'Hay  behind  his  entrenchments.  General  Guilhelm  fell  here 
and  his  body  was  handed  over  to  the  French  next  day.  These 
estimated  their  loss  at  1,200  men;  on  the  German  side  there 
were  80  killed  and  300  wounded — but  300  unwounded  French 
prisoners  were  taken.  It  is  not  known  whether  the  French 
intended  to  pierce  our  lines  on  this  occasion,  or  only  to  destroy 
the  passages  of  the  Seine ;  or  perhaps  to  retaliate  for  the  check 
they  had  received  on  the  19  th  September. 

On  the  3rd  of  October  the  headquarters  of  the  King  were 
removed  fiom  the  Chateau  of  Ferrieres  to  Versailles. 

After  frequent  alarms  on  both  sides,  and  much  useless  can- 
nonading from  the  forts,  the  next  sortie  took  place  on  the 
7th  of  October;  on  this  occasion  also  there  were  great  move- 
ments of  troops  on  the  preceding  day  .to  the  entrenchments 
in  rear  of  d'lvry  and  Bicetre.  Probably  this  was  only  a 
demonstration.  But,  in  the  afternoon,  a  French  force  of  all  arms 
marched  out  of  Fort  Mont  Valerien  towards  Hueil,  returning 
towards  the  evening,  having  covered  the  destruction  of  part  of 
our  line  of  defence  at  Malmaison. 

On  the  loth  October  the  palace  of  St.  Cloud  was  set  on  fire 
by  the  guns  of  Mont  Valerien,  without  any  apparent  reason ;  the 
5th  jager  battalion,  and  the  58th  regiment  attempted  to  save 
as  much  as  possible  fi-om  the  flames.  The  same  da}^  10  French 
battalions  of  Blanchard's  division,  with  cavalry  and  field  guns, 
advanced  in  three  columns  against  the  position  of  the  Ilnd  Bava- 
rian corps,  and  drove  their  outposts  out  of  Chatillon  and 
Bagneux  ;  the  enemy  had  his  reserves  in  readiness  behind  Fort 
Montrouge,  in  case  the  capture  of  the  heights  of  Chatillon  and 

L  2 


the  Bavarian  redoubt  should  succeed.  After  a  combat  of  six 
hours  duration,  in  which  first  the  8th,  and  then  the  7th  Bavarian 
brigade  took  part,  the  enemy  was  driven  back  ^vith  considerable 
loss.  In  this  sortie,  which  in  the  French  reports  is  described  as 
an  "  offensive  reconnaissance,"  the  guns  from  the  French  redoubt, 
constructed  on  the  height  between  L'Hay  and  Villejuif,  gave  a 
good  support,  and  annoyed  the  Bavarian  right  flank  considerably  ; 
their  loss  was  10  oflicers  and  860  men. 

October  14th.  A  sortie  of  several  French  battalions  was  re- 
pulsed by  the  piquets  and  some  guns  of  the  Xllth  corps. 

At  this  period  the  22nd  division  under  General  von  Wittich, 
and  the  1st  Bavarian  corps  under  General  von  der  Tann  were 
withdrawn  from  the  investing  force,  in  order  to  operate  against 
the  French  army  which  had  been  formed  in  the  south.  On  the 
other  hand  the  guard  landwehr  divisions  had  arrived  before 
Paris,  and  numerous  changes  were  made  in  the  positions  of  the 

In  the  night  of  the  19th-20th  of  October  a  lively  fire  was 
kept  up  by  the  forts,  and  repeated  night  attacks  by  strong 
infantry  detachments  were  made  against  our  outposts  at  Chevilly, 
that  is  to  say,  in  the  direction  of  Orleans,  but  without  any  result 

October  21st.  The  sortie  made  on  this  day  against  the  Vth 
corps  was  preceded  by  a  ^heavy  fire  from  Fort  Mont  Valerien, 
which  was  continued  later  from  the  gunboats  stationed  on  the 
Seine  ;  the  latter  fired  principally  against  St.  Cloud  and  Sevres. 
The  following  troops  were  drawn  up  under  the  command  of 
General  Ducrot :  General  Berthaut  with  3,400  men,  20  guns,  and 
one  squadron,  between  the  railroad  to  St.  Germain  and  Rueil ; 
General  Noel  with  1,350  men  and  10  guns,  to  operate  against 
Bougival  and  the  park  of  Malmaison ;  Colonel  Colleton  with 
1,000  men  and  18  guns,  to  keep  up  the  communication  between 
the  two  first-mentioned  columns,  and  also  to  join  in  the  attack 
on  Bougival.  Besides  these  there  were  two  main  columns  of 
reserve,  one  under  General  Martenot  with  2,000  men  and  18 
guns,  the  other  under  General  Paturel,  consisting  of  2,000  men, 
28  guns,  and  two  squadrons.  The  whole,  roundly  speaking, 
10,000  men,  94  guns,  and  three  squadrons,  under  the  supreme 
command  of  General  Ducrot,  were  in  position  an  hour  after 
mid-day,  supported  by  the  fortress  of  Mont  Valerien.  The  attack 
was  directed  against  the  10th  division  on  the  line  Bougival, 
Malmaison,  Garches.  The  19th  brigade  formed  the  outposts, 
with  the  46th  regiment  as  the  left  wing,  and  the  6th  regiment 
as  the  right ;  the  20th  brigade  in  reserve.  Towards  3  o'clock 
in  the  afternoon  four  of  the  enfemy's  battalions  attacked  the  park 
of  Malmaison ;  after  an  obstinate  fight  they  were  repulsed  by 
the  46th  Regiment,  two  battalions  of  the  6th  regiment,  and 
detachments  of  the  1st  guard  landwehr  regiment ;  whilst  this 
attack  was  in  progress  the  enemy  directed  another  against  La 
Celle,  which  was  beaten  back  by  portions  of  the  50th  regiment ; 
the  oth  and  6tli  companies  of  which,  assisted  by  some  men  of 


the  Gth  regiment,  captured  two  guns,  and  brought  them  safely 
away,  notwithstanding  the  heavy  firing  of  the  enemy.  On  the 
right  wing  the  advanced  troops  oi  the  9th  division  were  engaged. 
The  batteries  of  the  IVth  corps  at  Chatou  and  Besons,  on  the 
right  bank  of  the  Seine,  co-operated  with  good  effect  towards 
the  end  of  the  fight,  which  terminated  at  5  o'clock  in  a  general 
retreat  of  the  enemy  towards  Neuilly  and  to  Fort  Mont  Valerien, 
under  cover  of  the  guns  of  the  latter  place.  The  troops  which 
had  taken  part  in  the  sortie  retreated  very  slowly  to  the  fortress, 
so  that  the  Prussian  detachments  had  to  remain  under  arms 
imtil  late  in  the  evening.  In  Versailles  the  troops  had  taken 
up  their  defensive  positions.  Our  losses  in  this  combat  are 
given  as  15  officers  and  297  men  killed  and  wounded,  whilst  those 
of  the  enemy  were  28  officers  and  232  men,  exclusive  of  800 

A  small  sortie  took  place  at  the  same  time  against  the  Wlir- 
temberg  division  :  three  battalions,  supported  by  the  Faisandrie 
redoubt,  crossed  the  Marne  at  Joinville  and  advanced  against 
Champigny,  but  were  repulsed  by  the  2nd  jager  battalion 
and  part  of  the  7th  regiment  with  a  loss  of  3  killed  and 
30  wounded. 

The  fight  on  the  30th  October  at  La  Bourget,  which  was 
occupied  by  only  one  company  of  the  Guard,  was  of  more  im- 
portance ;  the  village  had  been  attacked  on  the  28th  by  superior 
French  forces  from  Fort  d'Aubervilliers,  and  the  garrison  driven 
out.  The  place  lay  under  a  cross-fire  from  the  forts  at  St.  Denis, 
d'Aubervilliers,  and  Bomainville,  and  the  French  made  every 
effort  to  secure  this  advantageous  position  and  fortify  it.  An 
attempt  was  made  on  the  29th  to  drive  the  enemy  out  of  Le 
Bourget  by  the  tire  fi'om  the  batteries  in  rear,  but  it  failed.  ' 

The  re-capture  of  this  post  of  such  importance  to  the  Prussians 
was,  therefore,  ordered  for  the  30th  October;  the  2nd  division 
of  foot  guards,  under  the  command  of  Lieut.-General  v, 
Budritzky,  was  told  off  for  this  service.  It  was  arranged  that  a 
right  column  consisting  of  two  battalions  of  the  Franz  regiment, 
a  centre  column  composed  of  the  3rd  grenadiers  of  the  guard, 
and  one  battalion  of  the  Queen's  (Konigin)  regiment,  and  a  left 
column  of  two  battalions  of  the  Alexander  regiment,  with  three 
companies  of  the  battalion  of  sharpshooters  of  the  guard,  the 
whole  supported  by  artillery  and  engineers  as  well  as  the 
necessary  reserves,  should  attack  Le  Bourget  simultaneously, 
and,  if  possible,  cut  off  the  retreat  of  the  enemy  on  St.  Denis, 
Preparations  had  also  been  made  for  the  attack  to  be  supported 
on  both  flanks  by  other  troops  of  the  investmg  force. 

Le  Bourget  was  occupied  by  6,000  men,  besides  a  reserve  of 
several  battalions  on  the  Paris  road. 

The  combat  was  opened  at  8  o'clock  in  the  morning  by  a  fire 
from  retired  artillery  positions  in  the  lines  Garges-Aulnay  ;  the 
left  column  was  immediately  set  in  motion,  crossed  the  Moleret 
stream  without  much  resistance,  and  reached  the  road  south  of 
Le  Bourget,  drove  the  enemy  out  of  his  entrenched  position,  and 


forced  the  reserve  into  a  hurried  retreat.  In  the  meantime  the 
other  columns  had  advanced  to  storm  Le  Bourget,  where  a  most 
obstinate  hand-to-hand  fight  took  place  in  the  streets  and 
houses.  The  brave  General  von  Budritzky  led  his  troops  in 
person,  flag  in  hand,  against  the  barricades  at  the  northern 
entrance  to  Le  Bourget,  followed  by  Colonels  Count  Kanitz  and 
Von  Zaluskowsky,  the  latter  of  whom  was  killed  in  the  street  of 
the  village. 

On  the  other  side  the  Augusta  regiment  had  pushed  into 
the  village  ;  its  colonel,  Count  Waldersee,  who  had  only  just 
rejoined  after  recovery  from  a  severe  wound  at  Gravelotte, 
fell  here,  with  another  oflicer,  by  French  treachery,  having  been 
shot  from  a  house,  the  defenders  of  which  had  lured  him  on  by 
the  waving  of  handkerchiefs. 

In  consequence  of  this  the  fight  was  continued  with  the 
greatest  bitterness  by  the  Prussians  ;  Le  Bourget  was  in  their 
possession  by  half-past  12  o'clock.  The  Prussians  lost  85  officers 
and  449  men  killed  and  wounded.  The  French  30  oflicers, 
1,250  unwounded  prisoners. 

According  to  the  statements  of  the  prisoners,  and  judging  by 
the  large  supply  of  provisions  captured  at  Le  Bourget,  the  enemy 
seem  to  have  intended  to  include  this  place  in  the  line  of  their 
fortified  outposts  and  to  construct  large  works  round  it.  How- 
ever, the  result  was  different  from  what  they  had  proposed,  for 
the  2nd  pioneer  company  of  the  guard,  under  the  command  of 
Captain  v.  Spanckeren  of  the  engineers,  which  had  particularly 
distinguished  itself  in  the  battle  field,  immediately  prepared  to 
construct  the  defences  of  the  place. 

The  failure  of  the  French  sorties  caused  great  dissatisfaction  in 
Paris,  and  led  to  a  rising  in  the  night  of  the  30th-31st  of 
October,  in  which,  however,  the  mob  was  crushed  by  the  troops 
at  the  disposal  of  Government.  In  the  first  days  of  November, 
there  were  negotiations  which  extended  over  a  period  of  five 
days  for  the  conclusion  of  an  armistice,  but  without  result.  The 
Ilnd  Prussian  corps,  which  arrived  before  Paris  in  the  latter 
half  of  November,  was  attached  to  the  Ilird  army,  and  went 
into  cantonments  in  rear  of  the  YIth  Prussian  and  Ilnd  Bavarian 
corps,  from  Longjumeau  to  the  Seine.  At  the  same  time  the 
Xllth  (Saxon)  corps  moved  its  left  wing  across  the  Marne,  and 
the  Wlirtemberg  Division  closed  towards  the  Vlth  corps.  The 
latter  was  transferred  to  the  IVth  army  after  the  sortie  of  Le 
Bom'get,  with  instructions  to  operate  against  the  bands  of  franc- 
tireurs  that  were  making  their  appearance  in  rear  of  the  position, 
and  especially  at  Meaux  and  Lagny  on  the  line  of  communica- 
tion. For  this  purpose  a  battalion,  accompanied  by  one 
squadron  and  two  guns,  was  despatched  as  a  flying  column  to 
Nangis,  and  succeeded  in  capturing  with  small  loss,  5  officers, 
597  men,  and  two  guns. 

Although  after  the  fight  at  Le  Bourget  the  conflicts  between  the 
outposts  were  of  less  importance,  and  the  extravagant  waste  of 
ammunition  from  the  forts  was  diminished  on  the  whole,  yet. 


towards  Xovember,  there  were  indications  of  an  important  sortie, 
probably  in  the  south  or  south-east ;  in  which  direction  General 
Trochu  hoped  to  effect  a  junction  with  the  army  which  had  been 
organised  in  feverish  haste  by  Gambetta,  and  was  pushing 
forward  to  the  rehef  by  way  of  Beaune  under  the  command  of 
General  de  Paladines. 

On  the  29th  of  November  a  sortie  was  made  against  the  posi- 
tion of  the  Vlth  corps  at  L'Hay,  Chevilly,  Thiais,  and  Choisy 
le  Roi.  It  began  with  a  heavy  cannonade  during  the  night 
of  the  2Sth-29th  November  from  some  of  the  southern  forts, 
apparently  for  the  purpose  of  fatiguing  our  troops,  who  had,  in 
consequence,  to  be  under  arms  during  half  the  night.  Some 
works  of  fortification,  which  were  in  progress  at  the  time,  had, 
therefore,  to  be  given  up  for  the  moment ;  among  them  the  con- 
struction of  a  redoubt  at  Villa  Coublay  for  the  defence  of  the 
siege  parks,  The  attacking  columns  of  the  enemy  were  launched 
from  Arcueil  and  Yitry  against  L'Hay,  whilst  the  two  wings 
were  directed  on  the  villages  of  Thiais  and  Chevilly,  lying  on 
either  side  of  the  Fontainebleau  road.  The  enemy's  strength 
was  about  3,000  men,  but  he  foimd  the  Vlth  corps  in  a  strong 
position  to  receive  him. 

After  a  hard  fight  of  three  hours,  without  any  result,  the 
French  were  thi'own  back,  leaving  2  ofiicers  and  200  men  in  the 
hands  of  the  Germans  ;  the  latter,  sheltered  behind  their  strongly 
entrenched  position,  never  permitted  the  French  to  develope 
their  forces,  and  caused  them  great  losses  both  in  killed  and 
wounded  ;  on  our  side  the  loss  was  200,  of  whom  3  ofiicers  and 
32  men  were  killed. 

On  the  30th  of  November,  the  battle  was  renewed  with 
increased  forces,  under  the  personal  command  of  General 
Trochu  ;  an  attempt  was  made  to  penetrate  the  lines  of  the 
Wlirtemberg  division,  on  the  ground  in  front  of  the  peninsula 
of  St.  Maur,  The  eneni}^  commanded  the  ground  where  the 
Marne  bends  to  the  south,  the  villages  of  La  Varenne,  Pont 
Mesnil,  and  the  district  behind  St.  Maur,  including  the  wood  of 
les  Fosses,  by  means  of  Forts  Charenton  and  Nogent,  and  the 
works  thrown  up  in  advance.  Near  Creteil  is  Mont  Mesly,  which 
is  high  enough  to  be  regarded  as  the  commanding  point  of  the 
surrounding  country. 

The  concentration  of  the  enemy's  forces  took  place  near  Fort 
Charenton,  in  the  camp  of  St.  Maur  (Forest  of  Vincennes),  and 
between  Forts  Rosny  and  Nogent. 

The  first  oftensive  movement  was  from  Fort  Charenton  against 
the  hill  of  Mesly  ;  the  second  from  Joinville,  towards  Cham- 
pigny  ;  and  the  third  from  Nogent,  directed  against  Brie  and 
Villiers.  The  three  companies  of  Wiirtembergers,  forming  the 
garrison  of  Mesly,  were  miable  to  resist  the  overwhelming  attack 
made  against  their  position  at  daybreak,  and  fell  back  on  their 
supports,  whilst  the  enemy  took  possession  of  the  Mesly  heights 
and  brought  two  batteries  into  action  on  them.  An  artillery 
fight  now  developed  itself,  whilst  the  division  of  Wiirtembergers 


formed  up  and  advanced  against  the  heights  Avith  the  2nd  and 
3rd  brigades,  and  re-captured  them,  after  heavy  fighting,  about 
mid-day.  They  were  supported  by  the  7th  brigade  of  the 
Ilnd  corps,  which  was  in  position  with  one  battery  at  Villeneuve 
St.  Georges,  and  joined  in  the  attack  from  the  side  of  Valenton, 
thus  taking  the  enemy  in  flank,  and  preventing  the  action  of 
the  reserves,  who  were  forced  in  consequence  to  retreat  from  the 
wood  of  Cr^teil,  to  the  viUage  of  that  name  and  Fort  Charenton, 
How  gallantly  the  Wiirtembergers  fought  may  be  gathered  from 
the  fact'^that  their  losses  were  40  officers  and  700  men,  whilst 
accordino-  to  General  Trochu's  report  those  of  the  French  amounted 
to  nearly  2,000  killed  and  wounded. 

At  Champigny  and  Brie,  the  Wiirtembergers  had  been  relieved 
just  before  daybreak  by  the  Saxons  ;  six  companies  of  the  latter 
occupied  these  places,  but  they  were  obliged  to  give  way  before 
the  advancing  French  columns,  who  immediately  took  possession 
of  the  village  of  Villiers,  lying  more  to  the  north.  The  French 
did  not  attempt  a  further  advance  against  the  Germain  main 
position.  In  the  meantime  the  reserves  had  come  up.  The 
Germans,  n^imely,  the  48th  infantry  brigade  (Saxons),  and  the 
1st  Wiirtemberg  brigade,  drove  tlie  enemy  with  great  bravery 
out  of  Villiers,  though  Champigny  and  Brie  remained  in  the  hands 
of  the  latter.  In  the  afternoon  the  fight  raged  with  the  greatest 
bitterness  between  Neuilly  and  Coeuilly ;  the  infantry  flghting 
for  the  possession  of  the  villages,  whilst  the  artillery  were  posted 
in  the  intervals  ;  between  Noisy  and  Villiers  alone,  there  were 
42  gims  of  the  Xllth  corps  in  action.  The  fight  which  had 
been  carried  on  with  the  greatest  determination  on  both  sides, 
was  only  brought  to  a  close  by  the  approaching  darkness. 

This  sanguinary  day,  which  cost  the  Saxons  29  officers  and 
879  men,  and  the  Wiirtembergers  1,500,  whilst  they  captured 
940  prisoners,  gave  the  impression  that  the  French  had  made 
every  effort  to  break  through  the  German  lines  ;  for  not  only 
had  all  the  preparations  been  carefully  planned  for  this  purpose, 
five  bridges  constructed  over  the  Marne,  and  a  supply  of  fresh 
troops  always  at  hand,  but  offensive  movements  had  been 
directed  against  other  points  of  the  investing  army.  A  continuous 
cannonade  was  kept  up  from  all  the  forts,  and  even  iron-plated 
railway  wagons  and  gun  boats,  the  latter  on  the  Seine  and 
Marne,  had  been  set  in  motion  to  flank  the  battle  field.  Sorties 
were  made  on  botli  flanks  of  the  battle  field,  namely,  against  the 
Xllth  corps  in  the  direction  of  Chelles,  and  a  second  time  against 
the  A^'Itli  corps  at  Chevilly.  At  the  latter  place  the  entrench- 
ments were  held  ;  and  the  enemy  advancing  from  his  fortified 
position,  was  thrown  back  as  early  as  11  o'clock,  so  that  the 
Vlth  corps  was  able  to  detach  6  battalions,  2-i-  squadrons,  and 
2  batteries  of  horse  artillery  through  Villeneuve  St.  Georges,  to 
the  assistance  of  the  hard-pressed  Wiirtembergers.  At  3 
o'clock  the  French  renewed  their  attack,  which  was  repulsed 
with  comparative  ease. 


Simultaneously  with  these  sorties  to  the  south  and  south-east 
of  the  fortress,  others  were  undertaken  from  St.  Denis  against 
the  positions  of  the  IVth  and  guard  corps,  as  well  as  from  St. 
Cloud  against  the  Vth  corps,  but  without  result;  the  enemy- 
brought  about  a  brigade  into  the  field  at  these  points.  All  round 
the  city  there  were  therefore  engagements  with  the  enemy. 
General  Trochu  had  made  a  great  noise  in  Paris  about  his 
victories  at  Champigny  and  Brie,  nevertheless  he  found  it  neces- 
saiy  to  maintain  himself  quietly  next  day  in  the  positions  which 
he  had  occupied. 

On  the  1st  of  December,  the  troops  did  not  come  into 
collision,  but  the  French  demanded  an  armistice  until  4  o'clock 
in  the  afternoon,  for  the  purpose  of  burying  their  dead. 

In  consequence  of  an  order,  to  be  prepared  under  any  circum- 
stances for  a  renewal  of  the  attack,  the  whole  Ilnd  corps  was 
brought  over  to  the  right  bank  of  the  Seine,  and  on  the  night 
of  the  lst-2nd  Deceniber  took  up  a  position  between  Coeuilly 
and  Chennevieres  as  reserve  in  rear  of  the  Wilrtembergers  ; 
a  measure  which  proved  to  be  most  useful.  The  portion  of  the 
Xllth  corps  on  the  left  bank  of  the  Marne,  the  Ilnd  corps,  a 
brigade  of  the  Vlth  corps,  and  the  Wilrtemberg  division  were 
placed  under  the  command  of  General  von  Fransecky,  com- 
mander of  the  Ilnd  corps.  At  dawn  on  the  2nd  of  December 
at  7  o'clock,  the  1st  Wilrtemberg  brigade,  in  company  with  the 
Saxons,  renewed  the  attack  on  Champigny.  They  succeeded 
after  a  short  time  in  taking  the  village,  but  the  Germans  could 
not  maintain  themselves  there,  on  account  of  the  defences  in  the 
place,  and  the  constant  arrival  of  fresh  troops  on  the  field,  which 
were  brought  by  the  railroad  passing  close  to  Fort  Nogent.  The 
7th  Prussian  brigade,  under  ^the  command  of  General  du  Trossel, 
advanced  to  the  attack  from  Chennevieres  at  an  opportune 
moment,  but,  as  the  lower  part  of  the  village  of  Champigny  was 
under  effective  fire  of  the  heavy  guns,  the  Germans  were  only 
enabled  to  keep  their  hold  in  the  upper  part  of  t\\e  village.  The 
3rd  infantry  division,  and  the  whole  of  tlie  corps  artillery  had 
been  in  action  in  Champigny  and  on  the  line  Champigny-Yilliers 
since  9  o'clock  in  the  morning  ;  whilst  the  8th  brigade  and  a 
brigade  of  the  Vlth  corps  remained  in  reserve  at  Chennevieres. 

After  10  hours  hard  fighting,  the  firing  ceased  here  about 
5  o'clock  in  the  afternoon.  The  24th  (Saxon)  division  had  been. 
ordered  to  re-capture  Brie ;  about  8  o'clock  in  the  morning,  the 
place  was  attacked  and  the  enemy  driven  into  the  lower  part  of 
the  village,  where  he  made  a  stand  covered  by  good  artillerj- 
positions.  The  fight  in  and  round  Brie  came  to  a  standstill.  As 
the  enemy  in  his  well-entrenched  position,  was  constantly  receiving- 
reinforcements,  it  was  impossible  to  get  possession  of  the  whole  of 
the  village,  notwithstanding  the  devoted  bravery  of  the  1st  and 
2nd  battalions  of  the  sharpshooters,  of  the  107th  regiment,  and  a 
battalion  of  the  104th  regiment.  Although  the  Germans  had  a 
numerous  artillery  at  their  disposal,  the  ground  was  so  unfavour- 
able that  it  could  not  come  fully  into  action.     Eound  Villiers, 


and  especially  in  the  park,  which  was  bravely  defended,  first,  by 
the  Wlirtembergers,  and  afterwards  by  the  Saxons,  the  fighting 
continued  with  great  courage  on  both  sides.  At  nightfall  the 
enemy  retired.  The- losses  of  the  Saxons  on  this  day  amounted 
to  55  officers  and  1,096  men,  those  of  the  Wlirtembergers  were 
48  officers  and  700  men.  The  troops  went  into  cantonments  in 
the  villages  on  the  battlefield,  in  order  to  occupy  on  the 
morning  of  the  3rd  December  the  positions  previously  held  by 
them.  The  French  repeated  on  this  day  some  offensive  move- 
ments against  Champigny,  but  without  any  energy  ;  they  main- 
tained themselves  however  at  Brie.  The  Ilud  corps  lost,  on  the 
30th  November,  and  the  2nd  and  3rd  Decembei",  89  officers  and 
1,517  men. 

The  concentrated  position  taken  up  by  the  Germans  on  this 
day  behind  Champigny  and  Brie,  induced  the  French  to  retire 
from  the  places  remaining  in  their  possession ;  they  retreated 
from  all  points  across  the  Marne,  removing  the  bridges  of  boats 
after  crossing  the  river.  The  necessity  for  strengthening  this 
position  with  additional  fortifications  was  now  recognized,  and 
strong  detachments  of  pioneers  were  ordered  to  the  spot  from 
the  south  front. 

Thus  these  great  efforts  of  the  French  to  break  out,  for  which 
purpose  70,000  of  their  best  troops  had  been  brought  into  action 
on  the  30th  of  November  and  the  2nd  of  December,  were 
repulsed  without  their  having  been  of  the  slightest  advantage  to 
them  ;  they  failed  as  on  former  occasions  from  not  following  up 
with  resolution  the  advantages  which  had  been  gained  by  a 
vigorous  attack.  General  Ducrot,  who  commanded  on  the  2nd 
and  3rd  December,  and  had  five  horses  shot  under  him  on  the 
first  day,  paid  a  tribute  to  the  bravery  of  the  German  troops 
in  his  general  orders.  The  occupation  and  fortifying  of  Mont 
Avron  by  the  French,  on  the  28th  of  November,  was  highly 
disadvantageous  to  us. 

Nearly  three  weeks  passed  without  any  sorties  from  Paris  ;  in 
the  meantime,  an  attempt  was  made  on  the  French  side  to  form 
a  junction  of  the  army  of  Paris  with  that  of  General  Faidherbe, 
commander  of  the  northern  army,  and,  at  the  same  time,  to 
threaten  our  north-easterly  line  of  communication.  The  enemy 
had  also  in  view  the  molestation  of  our  works  in  progress  for 
the  bombardment  of  Mont  Avron.  This  led  to  a  sortie  "  en 
masse"  on  the  21st  of  December,  of  three  divisions  under  the 
command  of  General  Ducrot,  directed  against  the  north-easterly 
portion  of  the  investing  line  in  two  simultaneous  attacks,  each 
on  two  roads.  One  attack  was  covered  by  Forts  St.  Denis  and 
d'Aubervilliers,  the  other  by  Forts  Romainville,  Rosny,  and 
Nogent.  The  advance  was  made  against  four  points :  Stains  and 
Le  Bourget  defended  by  the  guard  corps,  and  Sovran  and 
Chelles  which  were  held  by  the  Xllth  corps. 

On  the  afternoon  of  the  20th  of  December,  the  movement  of 
large  bodies  of  the  enemy's  troops  out  of  St.  Denis  was  noticed  ; 
the  guard  corps  therefore  made  the  necessary  dispositions.     It 


was  not  possible  on  the  morning  of  the  21st  December  to  make 
out  at  what  point  the  enemy  intended  to  attack.  Suddenly  Le 
Bourget,  which  was  garrisoned  by  one  battalion  of  the  3rd 
regiment  of  guards,  and  one  company  of  sharpshooters,  was 
unexpectedly  assailed  from  the  northern  side,  the  churchyard  was 
captured  and  125  men  taken,  but  the  southern  edge  of  the  village 
was  bravely  held.  With  the  assistance  of  three  companies  of 
the  3rd  grenadiers  of  the  guard,  and  two  companies  of  the 
sharpshooters  of  the  guards,  who  were  sent  to  the  succour  of  the 
hardly-pressed  garrison,  they  succeeded  after  a  hard  fight  in 
driving  the  French  out  of  the  village  at  3  o'clock  in  the  after- 
noon.    Three  officers  and  356  men  were  taken  prisoners. 

Almost  at  the  same  time  Stains,  which  was  garrisoned  by  the 
2nd  battalion  of  the  1st  regiment  of  guards,  one  company  of 
the  3rd  regiment  of  guards,  and  the  fusilier  battalion  of  the 
1st  regiment  of  guards,  the  latter  in  reserve,  was  attacked, 
under  support  from  the  guns  of  St.  Denis  ;  but  the  enemy  failed 
to  penetrate  into  the  village  and  had  to  retire.  The  forts  l)ear- 
ing  on  the  field  of  battle  kept  up  a  heavy  fire  during  the  entire 
day,  supported  by  a  numerous  field  artillery,  against  which  only, 
six  batteries  of  the  guard  corps  were  in  action;  towards 
evening  the  fii-ing  ceased,  and  the  Prussian  troops  were  enabled 
to  take  up  their  old  positions.  Three  officers  and  356  un wounded 
prisoners  fell  into  the  hands  of  the  Prussians ;  our  loss  was  14 
officers  and  400  men,  that  of  the  French  considerable;  they  had 
40,000  men  under  fire. 

On  the  19th  and  20th  of  December,  demonstrations  had  been 
made  from  Mont  A\a'on  towards  the  Maison  Blanche  and  Ville- 
Evrart,  against  the  Xllth  corps.  In  the  afternoon  of  the  20th  De- 
cember, the  enemy  concentrated  about  two  divisions  and  11  bat- 
teries at  Noisy-le-Sec,  under  the  command  of  Generals  Malroi  and 
Blaise  ;  this  force  was  further  strengthened  during  the  night  by 
means  of  the  railroad.  Fresh  batteries  were  unmasked  on  Mont. 
Avron.  About  mid-day  the  enemy  attacked  from  Neuilly  ;  Maison 
Blanche  and  Ville-Evrart,  which  were  only  held  by  oui-  outposts, 
were  lost.  A  further  advance  against  the  very  strong  position  of 
the  24th  division  at  Chelles  was  prevented  by  the  flanking  fire 
of  the  Wiirtemberg  Batteries,  Nos.  7,  8,  and  9  at  Noisy-le-Graud, 
and  by  the  overflowing  of  the  Marne.  As  soon  as  the  24th 
division  was  completed  by  the  arrival  of  the  five  battalions  of 
the  101st  and  107th  regiments,  the  13th  jager  battalion,  all  of 
which  had  been  detached  to  support  the  guard  corps,  and  also 
nine  batteries  which  had  taken  up  a  position  at  Livry,  it 
advanced  against  Maison  Blanche  and  Ville-Evrart.  The  foi-mer 
was  immediately  taken  by  storm,  but  the  fighting  round  YiUe- 
Evrart  was  most  obstinate  and  only  ceased  at  miduight,  when 
500  French  were  made  prisoners ;  the  place  had  to  be  evacuated 
on  account  of  the  rising  of  the  river.  The  Saxons  lost  on  this 
day  1  officer  and  40  men,  most  of  them  slightly  wounded. 

On  the  21st  December,  the  4th  infantry  division  was  placed  in 
reserve  behind  the  Xllth  corps,  and  the  Sth  brigade,  together 


with  four  batteries,  was  advanced  as  far  as  tlie  bridge  over  the 
Marne  at  Voires,  but  there  was  no  collision  with  the  enemy. 

Whilst  these  sorties  were  in  progress,  the  French  made  de- 
monstrations at  several  points,  for  instance,  from  Fort  Mont 
Valerien  towards  Montretout  and  Buzenval ;  the  outposts  of  the 
5th  jager  battalion  sufficed  to  repel  them.  Besides  this,  a  heavy 
and  useless  shell  fire  was  kept  up  from  the  forts  against  the  corps 
not  attacked. 

On  the  22nd  of  December,  two  French  brigades  advanced  along 
the  Marne  against  the  left  wing  of  the  Xllth  Corps,  but  two 
Wilrtemberg  batteries  placed  at  Noisy  soon  compelled  them  to 

On  the  15th  of  January,  there  were  more  sorties  of  the  Paris 
garrison  against  the  position  of  the  guard  and  Xllth  corps  in 
the  direction  of  Le  Bourget,  Dugny,  and  Mont  Avron,  which 
were  repulsed  by  the  German  troops.  It  is  not  impossible  that 
the  larger  sorties  on  this  front  were  in  connexion  with  the  opera- 
tions of  General  Faidherbe  in  the  north  ;  though  they  may  only 
have  been  intended  to  disturb  our  preparations  for  the  attack  on 
Mont  Avron. 

In  the  last  days  of  December  and  daring  January,  whilst  the 
artillery  attack  was  being  developed,  the  political  and  social  con- 
dition of  the  beleagued  city  was  becoming  more  serious.  All 
hopes  were  based  on  the  success  of  a  sortie  "  en  masse."  General 
Trochu  yielded  eventually  to  pressure,  and  on  the  19th  of  January 
an  attempt  was  made  from  Mont  Valerien  with  100,000  men  to 
j)ierce  the  position  occupied  by  the  Vth  army  corps  and  the 
guard  landwehr  division.  In  the  event  of  a  success,  a  further 
advance  w^as  to  be  made  on  Versailles,  the  seat  of  the  Royal 

At  8  o'clock  in  the  morning,  three  columns  were  seen  debouching 
from  the  immediate  neiffhbourliood  of  Mont  Vale'rien ;  the  ri^ht 
column,  under  command  of  General  Ducrot,  was  to  operate  along 
the  Seine  towards  Rueil ;  the  centre  column,  under  General 
Bellemare,  was  to  reach  the  plateau  of  La  Bergerie  (the  heights 
of  Garches),  and  the  left  column,  commanded  by  General  Vinoy, 
was  to  capture  the  redoubt  of  Montretout  in  order  to  support  the 
attack  in  the  centre. 

The  Prussians  had  occupied  the  heights  of  Garches,  as  well  as 
the  chateau  and  park  of  La  Bergerie,  as  a  point  of  support  to  the 
position.  The  French  attack,  carried  out  with  superior  forces 
and  great  energy,  only  caused  the  Prussian  outposts  to  retire  on 
their  supports,  but  they  did  not  succeed  in  taking  either  La 
Bergerie,  which  was  bravely  defended  by  one  battalion  of  the 
59th  regiment  and  a  company  of  jagers,  or  the  viUage  of  Garches  ; 
General  Ducrot  arrived  on  the  battlefield  too  late  to  co-operate 
with  good  eifect  at  the  right  moment.  Meanwhile,  the  Prussian 
reserves  had  come  up,  and  a  hard  fight  ensued  for  the  possession 
of  the  heights  of  Garches.  They  w^ere  stormed  about  2  o'clock  in 
the  afternoon  by  two  battalions  of  the  King's  grenadiers,  with 


detachments  of  the  59th  regiment  and  the  5th  jao-er  battalion 
supported  on  the  flank  by  a  battalion  of  the  47th  reo-iment. 

Although,  towards  the  end  of  the  battle,  the  head  of  General 
Ducrot's  column  was  able  to  join  in  the  fight,  still  as  the  dark- 
ness came  on,  the  French  were  repulsed  and  had  to  retire  under 
cover  of  the  guns  of  Fort  Mont  Valerien.  These  had  been 
engaged  with  the  Prussian  artillery  during  the  day  in  order  to 
draw  ofl*  the  fire  from  the  infantry.  The  5th  light  battery  of 
the  Vth  corps  in  action  at  Brdzin  suflPered  most ;  it  was  at  this 
spot  that  the  Crown  Prince  of  Prussia  took  up  a  position  durino- 
the  battle.  Towards  evening  our  outposts  occupied  the  same 
ground  as  in  the  morning. 

In  the  attack  on  Montretout  the  French  were  more  fortunate  ; 
the  weak  garrison  of  60  men  had  to  evacuate  it  and  fight  their 
way  out.  The  enemy  soon  made  a  lodgment  there,  and  brouo-ht 
guns  into  action  on  the  right,  so  that  it  was  not  retaken  till  after 
dark.  This  was  effecced  at  11  o'clock  in  the  evening  by  detach- 
ments of  the  -i7th,  58th,  and  82nd  regiments.  It  was  observed  in 
the  afternoon  and  evening,  that  a  large  force  of  the  French  were 
bivouacking  outside  the  fortress,  and  it  was  necessary,  therefore, 
for  the  Prussians  to  make  preparations  to  meet  a  renewal  of  tlie 
attack ;  consequently  a  Bavarian  brigade  of  the  1st  corps,  which 
had  arrived  before  Paris  a  few  da3's  previously  from  the  southern 
army,  and  some  guard  landwehr  were  moved  to  Versailles. 

Our  loss  was  39  officers  and  616  men,  that  of  the  enem}^  was 
very  considerable,  it  amounted  to  7,000  men,  of  whom  1,000 
were  left  dead  on  the  battlefield.  There  was  also  a  small  fio-ht 
this  day  on  the  eastern  side  of  the  investing  line ;  a  company  of 
the  100th  regiment  together  with  one  of  the  101st  surprised  the 
enemy's  outpost  in  the  farm  of  Groslay  and  took  5  officers  and 
150  men  prisoners. 

On  the  20th  of  January  detachments  of  the  58th  regiment 
and  the  5th  jager  battalion  surrounded  and  cajitured  18  officers 
and  320  men  in  St.  Cloud,  to  which  place  they  had  retired  in 
the  expectation  that  the  battle  would  be  renewed  there. 

Although  the  investing  army  was  constantly  engaged  in  its 
front  by  these  repeated  sorties,  the}^  did  not  remain  unmolested 
in  their  rear,  where  franc-tireur  bands,  more  or  less  oiganised, 
threatened  the  railways  and  telegraphs,  and  carried  off  transport, 
patrols,  and  oflicials ;  it  became  necessary  therefore  up  to  the  last 
days  of  the  siege  to  despatch  large  columns  against  them,  and 
as  late  as  the  27th  of  January  a  force  consisting  of  2  infantry 
and  2  cavalry  regiments  with  8  guns,  marched  from  the  southern 
post  of  the  investing  circle  towards  Auxerre. 

From  the  beginning  of  the  investment  the  internal  condition 
of  Paris  had  been  anxiously  watched  at  headquarters,  and  the 
fall  of  the  capital  would  have  been  a  mere  matter  of  time,  as 


tlie   provisions   decreased   daily  whilst  the  political  difficulties 

The  capitulation  of  Metz  and  the  destruction  of  the  newly- 
formed  armies  in  the  south  and  north,  seemed  to  have  no  effect 
on  the  character  of  the  defence  ;  the  negotiations  for  an  armis- 
tice, which  had  been  carried  on  in  the  first  days  of  November 
between  the  headquarters  at  Versailles  and  the  French  Govern- 
ment, had  been  broken  off  after  lasting  for  five  days. 

Under  these  circumstances,  the  necessity  of  a  regular  siege  or 
bombardment  of  the  capital  had  become  inevitable,  as  the  only 
means  of  bringing  the  war  to  a  speedy  conclusion  ;  but  the  pre- 
parations were  on  such  a  large  scale,  that,  as  regards  the  prin- 
cipal attack  on  the  south  front,  we  shall  have  to  treat  them 

A  large  siege  train  had  to  be  brought  up  for  the  attack,  com- 
posed partly  of  guns  from  the  home  fortresses  and  partly  from 
the  trains  which  had  been  already  employed  against  other 
French  fortresses,  but  at  the  same  time  the  sieges  then  in  pro- 
gress, which  required  a  great  amount  of  material,  could  not  be 
interrupted.  It  was  not  surprising  therefore,  that  exactly  the 
most  appropriate  guns  should  not  have  been  used  in  the  artillery 
attack  on  the  south  front,  or  that  the  Germans  were  unprepared 
for  the  extraordinarily  rapid  wear  of  the  guns,  which  influenced 
the  progress  of  the  siege. 

The  siege  train  contained  about  300  pieces  of  ordnance, 
namely,  70  long  24-prs.,  15  short  24-prs.,  100  12-prs..  40  6-prs., 
exclusive  of  rifled  breech-loaders,  besides  20  25 -pr.  shell  guns, 
20  50-pr.  mortars,  and  6  rifled  21-cwt.  mortars.  Each  gun  was 
provided  with  500  rounds  for  curved  fire  with  the  necessary  side 
arms  and  stores ;  the  carriages,  platform  wagons,  gyns,  &c.  with 
all  their  gear  had  to  be  brought  up. 

The  Ballon  guns,  of  which  there  were  twenty,  and  which 
were  much  spoken  of  at  the  time,  were  not  guns  but  wall  pieces, 
on  a  small  four-wheeled  wagon  with  a  platform  and  spindle 
moved  by  means  of  a  ball ;  they  did  not,  however,  succeed. 

The  parking  of  the  siege  guns  for  the  south  front  occupied 
much  time,  as  only  one  line  of  rail,  that  through  Nancy,  was 
available  at  first,  and  this  could  not  even  be  used  in  its  entire 
length  most  of  the  time,  as  several  tunnels  and  bridges  over  the 
Marne,  between  La  Ferte  and  Meaux,  had  been  destroyed  by 
the  enemy  and  had  to  be  repaired.  AH  the  other  bridges  on 
the  line  had  to  be  carefully  inspected  and  strengthened  so  that 
they  should  not  break  down  under  the  immense  loads ;  more 
than  100,000  cwt.  of  stores  and  ammunition  alone  had  to  be 
moved,  which  for  the  reasons  given  above  had  to  be  unloaded 
by  hand  and  conveyed  by  road  from  ]\Ieaux  and  Lagny  to  the 
siege  train  park  at  Villa  Coublay  before  Paris,  a  distance  of  12 
miles  (56  English  miles).  Special  roads  had  to  be  made  for  the 
transports,  and  bridges  built  over  the  Seine.  Several  thousand 
draught  horses  were  required  as  the  requisitioned  teams  were 
insufticient  and  the  drivers  were  constantly  deserting,  sometimes 


with  and  sometimes  without  their  wagons,  so  that  the  necessary 
horses  had  to  be  provided  from  the  troops  ;  but  this  arrangement 
was  not  found  convenient  as  a  permanency.  Twenty-four  transport 
columns,  each  of  40  wagons,  were  therefore  lirought  from  Ger- 
many, and  equipped  partly  with  the  French  wagons  and  harness 
taken  at  Metz.  The  transport  for  the  first  establishment  of  the 
siege  train  occupied  several  weeks,  both  night  and  day,  and  had 
even  to  be  continued  in  the  same  manner  during  the  siege. 

Two  of  the  Strousberg  traction  engines  were  brought  into  use. 
The  hilly  nature  of  the  country,  the  soft  roads,  and  the  slipperi- 
ness  in  frosty  weather  and  snow  caused  the  greatest  difficulties 
to  the  numberless  wagons.  Although  the  guns,  ammunition, 
and  other  stores  were  all  safely  conveyed  to  the  artillery  park, 
still  it  was  necessary  to  have  special  escorts  to  protect  them 
against  the  hostile  population.  These  circumstances  increased 
immensely  the  difficulties  of  preparing  for  the  attack  on  the  south 
front,  for  whilst,  on  the  east  and  north  fronts  everything  brought 
from  Germany  was  ^delivered  by  rail  close  up  to  the  parks,  in  the 
other  case  all  the  material  had  to  be  transferred  to  the  wagons 
and  carried  from  for  four  to  five  days  by  road  before  reaching 
its  destination,  No  person  without  a  knowledge  of  the  extensive 
organisation  required  for  a  siege  park  can  form  any  idea  of  the 
vast  preparations,  or  the  energy  and  foresight  necessary  to  carry 
out  such  an  undertaking.  The  establishment  of  the  engineer 
park  and  depots  presented  similar  difficulties. 

To  the  right  rear  of  the  gun  park,  were  the  store  sheds,  the 
empty  shells  and  other  projectiles,  the  laboratories,  a  fuze  magazine, 
and  six  jwwder  magazines,  with  their  proper  guardhouses,  all 
screened  from  the  enemy's  view  by  a  wood.  The  situation  of 
Villa  Coublay  was  very  convenient  for  the  purposes  of  the  siege, 
but  it  required  some  additional  security  against  hostile  enterprise, 
and  three  field  works  were  constructed  on  the  plateau  of  Moulin 
de  la  Tour,  of  which  the  centre  one  was  armed  with  1 2,  and  the 
other  two  each  with  6  rifled  12-pounders.  The  rocky  chalk 
soil,  frozen  later  to  a  depth  of  1^  feet,  made  the  construction  of 
the  batteries  a  work  of  great  difficulty  ;  the  laying  of  tlie  plat- 
forms had  to  be  executed  in  the  rock  with  crowbars  and  miners* 
tools.  On  the  other  hand  the  presence  of  the  woods  and  the 
material  they  afforded  were  of  great  service  in  building  the 
batteries.  In  consequence  of  being  thus  hidden  they  were  not 
unmasked  until  the  moment  of  opening  fire ;  in  one  case  an 
artificial  screen  was  formed  by  planting  trees  and  boughs,  behind 
which  the  construction  of  the  batteries  proceeded  quite  unper- 
ceived  by  the  enemy.  Countless  vehicles  with  the  baulks  and 
platforms  (both  of  which  had  to  be  brought  from  Germany), 
fascines  and  gabions,  which  were  made  by  the  Vth  and  Ilnd 
Bavarian  corps,  filled  the  roads  and  paths  leading  to  the 
batteries  for  months,  generally  at  night  so  as  to  be  unobserved 
b}'  the  French.  The  production  and  accumulation  of  the  different 
materials  were,  under  the  circumstances,  works  of  uncommon 
difficulty  ;  for,  although  the  equipment  provided  the  greater  part 


of  the  tools,  still  a'  considerable  quantity  had  to  be  obtained  by 
requisition  or  forwarded  from  Germany.  All  these  preparations 
required  much  time,  both  on  account  of  the  variety  of  difficulties 
that  had  to  be  encountered,  and  the  shortness  of  the  days ;  but 
until  everything  necessary  for  carrying  out  the  siege  thoroughly 
was  in  its  place,  the  opening  of  the  attack  could  not  be 
thought  of 

It  is  hardly  necessary  to  add  that  the  time  and  manner  of 
carrying  out  the  siege  had  already  been  decided  by  the  autho- 
rities ;  and  if  there  was  any  delay  in  opening  the  attack,  it  was  on 
account  of  circumstances  which  have  been  already  been  noticed, 
a  detailed  account  of  which  would  be  beyond  our  province. 

Paris  was  to  be  attacked  on  three  sides  simultaneously,  so  as 
to  force  the  enemy  to  use  his  heavy  guns  on  more  than  one 
front.  It  is  worthy  of  remark,  that  the  most  broken  ground 
bad  to  be  selected  for  the  artillery  attack,  and  that  in  order  to 
reach  the  body  of  the  place,  several  of  the  outer  forts  would 
have  to  be  engaged  first,  and  perhaps  have  to  be  captm*ed. 

A  short  account  of  the  different  attacks  in  the  east,  north, 
and  south,  under  the  direction  of  Major-General  Prince  Kraft 
of  Hohenlohe-Ingelfingen,  commander  of  the  guard  artillery 
iDrigade,  will  follow  here,  in  the  order  in  which  they  were  carried 

I. — ARTiLLERr  Attack  on  the  East  Fkont. 

The  object  of  the  French  position  on  Mont  Avron  was,  in 
conjunction  with  the  forts  in  rear,  to  prepare  sorties,  and 
to  support  them  with  the  fire  of  the  guns;  it  commanded 
the  valley  of  the  Marne  and  covered  the  assembly  of  troops 
there,  as  well  as  the  passages  over  the  Marne,  and  at  the  same 
time  it  flanked  the  greater  part  of  our  eastern  line  of  in- 
vestment. These  favourable  circumstances  induced  the  enemy 
continually  to  strengthen  this  position,  so  that  in  the  end  there 
were  six  30-pounders,  six  short  24-pounders,  twenty-three 
7-pounders,  thirty -four  12-pounders,  seven  miti*ailleuses,  altogether 
76  guns  distributed  in  eight  batteries  ;  the  latter,  however,  were 
imperfectly  constructed,  and  unprovided  with  bombproofs  and 
traverses,  on  account  of  the  difficulty  of  working  in  the  frozen 
ground.  The  commandant  on  the  plateau  of  Mont  Avron  was 
the  well-known  and  able  Colonel  Stoffel,  who  before  the  war 
had  been  attache  to  the  French  embassy  in  Berlin.  There  was 
no  intention  on  the  German  side  of  occupying  Mont  Avron, 
especially  as  it  lay  under  the  cross-fire  of  Forts  Rosny,  Nogent, 
and  Noisy,  and  of  the  redoubts  Montreuil,  La  Boissiere,  and 
Fontenay,  situated  in  the  intervals.  Our  positions  were  so  close 
that  our  heavy  guns  could  engage  Mont  Avron  as  well  as  the 
forts  lying  behind  it. 

The  following  batteries  were  constructed  : — 


A. — On  the  PlateoM  of  Raincy. 

Batteries  Nos.  1,  2,  3,  and  4,  armed  respectively  with  six 
24-poimders,  six  12-pounders,  six  short  24-pounders,  and  four 
short  24-pounders,  altogether  22  guns,  directed  chiefly  against 
Mont  A\Ton,  Fort  Rosny,  and  other  less  important  places,  such 
as  the  villages  of  Avron,  Rosny,  Yillemomble,  and  the  redoubts 
of  la  Boissiere  and  Montreuil. 

B. — On  the  Plateau  of  Mont  Fermeil  on  the  side  nearest 
to  Gagny. 

Batteries  Nos.  5,*  6,  7,  and  8,  armed  respectively  with  six 
12-pounders,  six  long  24-pOunderSj  six  12-pounders,  and  six 
12-pounders,  total  24  guns,  to  fire  over  the  same  ground  as  the 
other  batteries,  and  also  to  sweep  the  valley  of  the  Marne.  To 
destroy  any  bridges  that  might  be  thrown  over  the  river  and 
prevent  a  passage. 

C. — In 'position  hetiveen  Noisy  and  Gournay. 

Batteries  Nos.  9  and  10,  armed  respectively  with  six  12- 
pounders  and  six  long  24-pounders,  together  12  guns.  To  fire 
on  the  Marne  valley  and  the  valley  of  Villemomble  and  prevent 
the  assembly  of  troops  in  these  localities. 

D. — In  position  south-ivest  of  Noisy-le-Grand. 

Batteries  Nos.  11,  12,  and  13,  each  armed  Avith  six  long  24- 
pounders,  making  a  total  of  18  guns  to  sweep  the  sides  of  Mont 
Avron,  the  villages  of  Villemomble  and  Neuilly,  the  railway 
junction,  the  Fontenay  redoubt,  and  Fort  Nogent. 

The  distances  of  the  different  batteries  from  Mont  Avron  varied 
from  3,500  to  6,000  paces. 

The  park  of  artillery  was  established  at  Brou,  half  a  league  to 
the  east  of  Chelles,  to  which  were  brought  36  rifled  12-pounders, 
30  rifled  24-pounders,  10  rifled  short  24-pounders,  altogether  76 
siege  guns. 

A  transport  column  of  700  wagons  was  cantoned  there  in 
improvised  barracks  and  stables.  Ten  companies  of  garrison 
artillery  were  available.  The  whole  was  placed  under  the  com- 
mand of  Colonel  Bartsch  as  chief  of  the  siege  artillery,  while 
Colonel  Oppermann  superintended  the  works  of  the  engineers. 

On  the  ]  3th  of  December  the  construction  of  the  batteries 
was  begun ;  it  had  to  be  carried  on  almost  entirely  at  night, 
with  the  exception  of  the  batteries  on  the  plateau  of  Raincy, 
which  were  screened  by  the  woods. 

Trench  communications  were  made,  where  necessary,  between 
the  batteries,  covered  by  traverses ;  roads  and  bridges  were 
constructed,  as  well  as  bombproofs  of  all  descriptions. 

Fire  was  opened  on  the  morning  of  the  27th  of  December  at 
half -past  7  o'clock  from  76  guns,  and  it  succeeded  by  the  next 

*  In  the  plate  No.  5  Battery  is  ^hown  on  the  plateau  of  Raincj-. 
36996.  jj; 


day  in  silencing  Mont  Avron  after  a  good  resistance,  and  con- 
siderable loss  among  the  gun  detacliments  ;  only  the  works  in 
rear  continued  to  respond  to  the  fire,  and  the  German  artillery 
succeeded  in  driving  the  French  garrison  out  of  Bondy  and  out 
of  the  railway  station  at  Noisy  le  Sec. 

The  French  evacuated  the  position  on  Mont  Avron  on  the 
night  of  the  2 8th- 2 9th  of  December.  They  had  thrown  a 
garrison  into  it  on  the  previous  night,  of  two  divisions  under  the 
command  of  General  d'Hugues,  with  the  intention  of  occupying 
it  defensively.  Their  withdrawal  during  the  night,  together  with 
the  removal  of  the  artillery  m.atcriel,  took  place  under  the  eyes 
of  General  Trochu,  who  had  hurried  to  the  spot,  and  was  per- 
formed in  wonderfully  good  order,  covered  by  the  marines 
and  three  field  batteries.  On  the  30th  of  December  Mont 
Avron  was  occupied  by  Saxon  detachments.  Supported  by 
a  covering  party  they  levelled  the  enemy's  works  and  des- 
troyed the  ammunition  and  other  materiel  found  there ;  the 
magazine  had  been  prepared  for  demolition.  The  next  thing- 
was  to  drive  the  French  out  of  the  villages  of  Drancy  and 
Bobigny,  which  they  held  in  force,  and  for  this  purpose  emplace- 
ments Nos.  J  4  and  15  were  constructed.  Two  other  batteries, 
Nos.  IG  and  17,  were  built  at  Chennevieres  to  command  the 
plateau  of  Villiers.  To  oppose  the  French  position  of  Courneuve, 
Le  Bourget,  and  Drancy,  No.  1  battery  at  Blanc-Mesnil,  and 
Nos.  2  and  3  batteries  *  at  Pont  Iblon  were  constructed,  and 
armed  altogether  with  18  guns,  so  as  to  render  an  offensive 
movement  from  that  direction  impossible.  Some  of  these  latter 
batteries  were  advanced  afterwards  as  far  as  Le  Bourget,  and 
were  thus  in  a  position  to  co-operate  against  St.  Denis  in  the 
attack  on  the  north  front. 

On  the  2nd  and  3rd  of  January  a  heavy  fire  from  the  siege 
batteries  was  continued  against  the  whole  of  the  east  front,  and 
was  only  replied  to  feebly  from  Fort  Nogent. 

As  the  east  front  had  always  been  considered  the  strongest  of 
the  Paris  defences,  our  successes  against  Mont  Avron  had  raised 
a  great  alarm  in  the  city,  and  ignorance  of  the  military  circum- 
stances had  caused  an  unreasonable  despondency,  as  well  as 
distrust  in  their  military  chief.  Meanwhile  the  enemy  remained 
in  possession  of  the  villages  of  Bondy,  Bobigny,  Drancy,  and 
Rosny,  and  disturbed  our  outposts  from  those  places  by  frequent 
alarms;  thus,  on  the  nights  of  the  10th  and  15th  of  January 
the  Saxon  outposts  were  attacked  on  the  railway  in  advance  of 
Aulnay  and  at  Nonneville,  whilst  the  same  thing  happened  to 
the  Guards  in  Le  Bouiget  three  times  during  the  night  of 
the  14th  of  January.  On  account  of  these  offensive  movements, 
the  siege  batteries  bombarded  those  places  for  48  hours  on  the 
16th  of  January,  the  results  of  which  could  only  be  ascertained 
Dy  a  reconnaissance  of  detachments  of  the  2nd  division  of  foot 

*  These  three  batteries  formed  at  the  same  time  the  left  wing  of  the  attack  on  the 
north  front. 


guards  against  Drancy,  and  of  the  23rd  infantry  division 
against  Groslay  farm,  on  which  occasion  5  officers  and  130  men 
were  taken  prisoners. 

On  the  night  of  the  26th-27th  of  January  the  batteries  of  the 
attack  ceased  firing. 

II. — Artillery  Attack  against  the  South  Front. 

The  command  here  was  entrusted  to  Colonel  von  Rietf,  Presi- 
dent of  the  committee  on  artillery  experiments.  This  ofiicer 
had  arrived  before  Paris  towards  the  end  of  September  ;  the 
special  reconnaissances,  and  all  arrangements  for  the  preparation 
and  execution  of  the  attack  had  been  carried  out  under  his 
orders.  There  were  at  his  disj^osal  80  companies  of  garrison 
artillery,  with  their  staff,  and  a  numerous  body  belonging  to 
the  store  department  for  duty  in  the  various  parks  and  depots. 

The  following  batteries  were  constructed  : — 

A. — Left  Wing. 

Battery  No.  1  (St.  Cloud)  for  six  12-pounders. 

Battery  No.  2  (Meudon)  for  eight  12-pounders. 

Both  these  batteries  to  act  against  Billancourt,  the  Bois  de 
Boulogne,  and  the  islands  in  the  Seine. 

Batteiy  No.  3  (Meudon)  six  24-pounders. 

Batteiy  No.  -i  (Meudon)  six  2-1-pounders. 

These  batteries  to  counter-batter  and  enfilade  the  south  and 
west  fronts  of  Fort  Issy. 

Dismounting  battery  No.  16  (Meudon)  four  12-pounders,  to 
fire  against  the  gun  emplacements  at  Fort  Issy. 

Dismounting  and  breaching  battery  No.  19  (Fleury  and 
Clamart)  armed  with  four  long  and  four  short  24-pounders, 
against  the  south  front  of  Fort  Issy,  the  long  24-pounders  ao-ainst 
the  Paris  enceinte. 

Dismounting  battery  No.  20  (Clamart)  for  six  long  24-pounders, 
to  fire  against  the  south  front  and  the  north-west  bastion  of 
Fort  Vanvres. 

B. — Centre. 

Enfilade  and  dismounting  battery  No.  5  (Clamart),  six 
2'i-pounders,  against  the  south-west  curtain  and  the  south  bastion 
of  Fort  Issy. 

Enfilade  battery  No.  6  (Clamart),  six  24-pounders,  against  the 
south-east  front  of  Fort  Vanvres. 

Enfilade  and  dismounting  battery  No.  7  (Moulin  de  la  Tour) 
for  six  24-pounders,  against  the  south  front  and  the  south-west 
bastion  of  Fort  Issy. 

Dismounting  battery  No.  17  (Moulin  de  la  Tour)  for  six 
12-pounders,  against  the  emplacements  between  Forts  Issy  and 

M  2 


Dismounting  and  breaching  battery  No.  8  (Moulin  de  la  Tour) 
for  six  24 -pounders,  against  the  south  front  of  Fort  Vanvres. 

Enfilade  and  dismounting  battery  No.  9  (Moulin  de  la  Tour) 
for  eight  12 -pounders,  to  fire  on  the  west  front  of  Vanvres  and 
its  south-west  bastion. 

Enfilade  and  breaching  battery  No.  10  (Moulin  de  la  Tour) 
for  six  24-pounders,  against  the  south  and  west  front  of  Fort 

Dismounting  battery  No.  21  (Chatillon)  six  short  24-pounders, 
directed  against  the  south-west  front  of  Vanvres,  and  the  neigh- 
bouring gun  emplacements. 

C. — Rigid  Wing. 

Enfilade  and  dismounting  battery  No.  11  (Fontenoy)  with 
eight  12-pounders,  to  fiie  on  the  west  front  of  Fort  Montrouge. 

Enfilade  and  dismounting  battery  No.  12  (Fontenoy)  eight 
24-pounders,  also  to  fire  against  the  west  front  of  Fort 

Dismounting  battery  No.  18  (Chatillon)  for  six  24-pounders, 
to  fire  against  Fort  Montrouge,  the  emplacements  to  the  west  of 
it,  and  the  city. 

Dismounting  and  enfilade  battery  No.  22  (Chatillon)  for  six 
12-pounders,  with  the  same  object  as  No.  18. 

D. — Batteries  for  vertical  Fire. 

Mortar  battery  No.  13  for  two  rifled  mortars  at  the  Tour  des 
Anglais,  to  fire  against  Fort  Issy. 

Mortar  battery  No.  14,  armed  like  No.  13,  to  fire  against  Fort 

Mortar  battery  No.  15,  armed  like  No.  13,  against  Fort 

Mortar  battery  No.  23  for  four  50-pounder  mortars  against 
Fort  Issy. 

Mfjrtar  battery  No.  24,  armed  like  No.  23,  against  Fort 

In  order  to  secure  the  right  flank  of  the  artillery  attack,  against 
which  the  French  made  particular  exertions,  especially  from 
Villejuif,  and  to  occupy  the  enemy's  batteries  there  continuously, 
a  flank  attack  was  organised  on  the  line  La  Rue-Chevilly,  under 
command  of  General  von  Ramm,  to  be  carried  on  independently. 
The  park  attached  to  it  was  at  Rungis,  and  two  batteries,  each 
for  six  12-pounders,  were  at  first  built  in  the  given  line,  but 
afterwards  advanced  somewhat  nearer  to  Villejuif. 

The  original  armament  of,  some  of  the  batteries  was  cnanged 
in  the  course  of  the  siege  operations  to  meet  the  alterations  in 
the  range  ;  the  greatest  distance  was  4,000  paces,  and  the  smallest 
1,700  paces  ;  during  the  last  days  of  the  bombardment,  the 
interior  of  the  city  was  the  object"  of  attack  of  nearly  all  the 
batteries,  some  of  which  sent  their  projectiles  to  a  distance  of 
12,000  paces. 


The  garrisons  of  Forts  Issy,  Vanvres,  and  Montrouge  observed 
the  ground  in  their  front,  by  means  of  ou (-posts  and  piquets, 
patrols  from  which  had  frequent  small  collisions  with  ours  ;  thus 
on  the  16th  December  1870,  two  companies  advancing  from  Fort 
Tssy  attempted  to  occupy  the  village  of  Meudon,  but  were 
repulsed  by  the  Prussian  outposts,  leaving  five  wounded  behind 

With  the  object  of  gaining  some  ground  on  our  side,  the 
French  outposts  were  driven  out  of  Bas  Meudon,  Le  Moulineaux, 
and  Fleury  shortly  after  midnight  on  the  3rd  Januaiy  ;  strong- 
reserves  had  been  brought  up  for  the  occasion.  During  the  same 
night,  the  arming  of  the  German  batteries  was  completed ;  but 
the  opening  of  the  fire  on  the  4th  January  had  to  be  postponed 
on  account  of  the  fog.  In  order  to  take  ofi*  the  attention  of  the 
enemy  from  the  attack  on  the  south  front,  the  Xllth  corps 
received  orders  to  make  demonstrations  on  the  east  side.  In 
accordance  with  these,  on  the  4th  January,  the  24th  division 
undertook  a  reconnaissance  from  Chelles  ao-aiust  Fort  Nosjent, 
whilst  at  the  same  time,  the  demolitions  on  Mont  Avron  were 
carried  on  with  great  activity,  to  create  the  impression  on  the 
enemy  that  German  batteries  were  to  be  established  there. 
Two  battalions  of  the  101st  regiment,  and  a  light  battery 
advanced  against  Neuilly  sur  Marne,  and  occupied  a  part  of  the 
village  and  evacuated  it  again  during  the  night ;  as  a  conse- 
quence of  this,  the  enemy  increased  his  force  in  the  front,  and 
remained  under  arms  till  morning. 

On  the  5th  of  January  there  were  more  demonstrations, 
principally  against  the  villages  of  Nogent  and  Rosny.  The  2nd 
battalion  of  the  105th  regiment  and  the  3rd  battalion  of  the 
106th  regiment,  accompanied  by  a  light  battery,  were  directed 
against  Nogent,  whilst  the  enemy's  outposts  were  threatened 
from  Mont  Avron,  and  the  3rd  battalion  of  the  101st  regiment 
was  sent  against  the  garrison  of  Bond3^  Other  movements  of 
troops  also  occurred  in  this  district.  The  Saxon  detachments 
retired  from  all  points  to  their  original  position,  after  accomplish- 
ing the  tasks  with  which  they  had  been  charged,  whilst  the 
French  maintained  an  extremely  heavy  fire  from  31  guns  against 
the  German  artillery  position  on  the  plateau  of  Raincy.  From 
the  31st  of  December  until  the  5tli  of  January  the  artillery  of 
the  defence  on  the  east  front  remained  almost  silent. 

During  these  occurrences  on  the  east  front,  the  arming  of  the 
German  batteries  on  the  south  front  had  been  completed  without 
molestation  ;  on  the  5th  of  January,  towards  morning,  the  French 
made  several  small  sorties  against  the  outposts  on  the  hill  of 
Clamart.  The  latter  had  occupied  the  summit  of  the  hill,  and 
were  attacked  during  the  previous  night,  three  times  in  succes- 
sion, on  the  last  occasion  with  one  battalion,  which,  however, 
retired  v;hen  the  bombardment  opened.  The  80th  regiment  also 
repulsed  a  sortie  made  against  Meudon. 

On  the  5th  of  January,  as  soon  as  the  fog  permitted  a  good 
view  of  the  enemy's  position,  the  batteries   opened  their  fire. 


which  had  been  ordered  to  commence  at  half-past  8  o'clock 
The  principal  attack  fired  this  day  on  Forts  Issy,  Vanvres,  and 
Montrouge,  from  batteries  No.  1  to  17  ;  the  collateral  attack 
directed  its  fire  against  the  entrenchments  at  Yillejnif  and  the 
gunboats  that  appeared  on  the  Seine. 

For  the  sake  of  brevity,  we  cannot  give  all  the  details  of 
the  artillery  fight  which  had  now  commenced ;  it  is  sufficient  to 
remark  that  everywhere  the  French  artillery,  but  particularly 
from  the  main  enceinte,  and  from  the  batteries  at  the  Point 
du  Jour,  showed  the  greatest  activity,  and  proved  itself  to 
be  an  opponent  worthy  of  our  respect,  forcing  us  often  enough 
to  give  up  the  tasks  originally  assigned  to  single  batteries,  in 
order  to  meet  him  with  united  strength. 

January  6th. — Clear  weather ;  the  fire  from  Fort  Issy  was 
temporarily  silenced.  The  enemy  fired  into  St.  Cloud,  Bougival, 
and  Vaucresson  from  Fort  Mont  Valerien,  and  unmasked  four 
new  batteries  at  the  Point  du  Jour  ;  the  guns  on  both  sides  of 
the  aqueduct  engaged  No.  1  battery  and  fired  on  to  the  plateau 
of  Meudon ;  Forts  Issy  and  Vanvres  only  fired  slowl}^ ;  on  the 
other  hand  Fort  Montrouge  directed  a  heavy  fire  against  the 
redoubt  of  Monlin  de  la  Tour,  Avhich  was  occupied  by  the 
Bavarians,  as  well  as  against  the  village  of  Clamart.  Our  fire  was 
chiefly  against  Fort  Issy  and  beyond  that  towards  Paris  against 
the  Point  du  Jour,  and  the  adjoining  batteries  on  the  railway 
embankment  and  the  aqueduct.  In  the  neighbourhood  of  Point 
du  Jour  the  flames  broke  out  in  several  places. 

January  7th  and  8th. — Thick  weather ;  the  firing  was  con- 
tinued and  set  the  barracks  in  Forts  Vanvres  and  Montrouge  in 
flames  ;  our  projectiles  ranged  from  9,000  to  9,500  paces  up  to 
the  gardens  of  the  Luxembourg  Palace,  The  revetments  and 
buildings  inside  Fort  Issy  were  being  demolished ;  the  fort 
answering  the  fire  but  feebly.  From  Fort  Vanvres  there  was 
only  a  dropping  fire.  Montrouge  was  engaged  with  the  Bavarian 
battaries  at  Moulin  de  la  Tour ;  a  barrack  in  the  fort  was  set  on 
fire.  Against  the  Point  du  Jour  and  the  adjoining  batteries  the 
artillery  fight  continued.  Some  of  the  batteries  were  silenced, 
but  the  well-conducted  defence  and  extended  front  of  the  fortress 
enabled  them  soon  to  be  replaced. 

The  authority  of  the  Governor,  General  Trochu,  over  the 
Parisian  populace  was  beginning  to  be  shaken ;  he  jdelded  to 
the  pressure  put  on  him  and  allowed  himself  to  be  hamj^ered  by 
a  council  of  eight  members ;  in  a  proclamation  issued  he 
repudiated  the  idea  of  a  capitulation. 

January  9th. — The  object  of  our  fire  now  was  to  prevent  the 
enemy  from  constructing  new  earthworks  for  gun  emplacements, 
communications,  tfcc.  ;  the  reply  to  it  from  his  positions  was  less 
energetic ;  it  seemed  as  if  the  enemy  were  engaged  in  with- 
drawing the  heavy  calibres  from  the  advanced  positions.  As 
the  day  was  foggy,  with  continuous  driving  snow,  the  batteries 
of  attack  were  ordered  to  slacken  their  fire.  The  government  of 
Paris  made  a  protest  against  the  bombardment  of  the  city,  which, 


considering  that  the  siege  had  now  been  in  progress  for  three 
months  and  a  half,  and  that  in  the  conduct  of  the  defence  neither 
towns,  villages,  nor  palaces  on  their  own  soil  had  been  spared, 
was  naturally  rejected ;  on  the  8th-9th  of  January  some  of  the 
batteries  received  orders  to  bombard  the  inner  portions  of  the 
town.  At  half-past  S  in  the  evening,  Le  Val  was  attacked  by 
the  lOtli  company  of  the  87th  regiment,  and  a  subdivision  of  the 
11th  company  of  the  same  regiment  was  sent  against  Moulineaux, 
as  the  enemy  had  located  himself  again  in  these  places  ;  after  a 
good  resistance  he  was  driven  out,  and  the  besiegers  by  the 
capture  of  these  places  were  enabled  to  approach  from  1,500  to 
1,600  paces  nearer  to  Fort  Issy. 

January  10th. — At  3  o'clock  in  the  morning,  some  chasseurs 
managed  to  penetrate  into  a  new  battery  on  the  hill  of  Clamart, 
which  only  opened  fire  on  this  day,  but  the  covering  party  drove 
them  out  again.  This  spot  was  of  the  utmost  importance  both 
for  the  attack  and  the  defence,  and  for  weeks  the  ground  had 
been  disputed  by  the  outposts.  Similar  small  aftairs  occurred  at 
other  places,  evidently  with  the  intention  of  making  our  approach 
more  difficult.  Our  fire,  which  was  continued  without  inter- 
mission, was  answered  by  the  enemj^  but  only  to  a  limited 
extent.  Paris  was  burning  in  several  places.  The  battery  at 
St.  Cloud  fired  into  Billan court  and  the  Bois  de  Boulogne. 

On  the  11th  of  January,  a  heavy  fire  was  maintained  against 
the  enemy's  works  and  gun  emplacements.  The  barracks  in 
Fort  Issy  wei*6  set  in  flames,  as  well  as  several  houses  in  the 
suburbs  of  Gentilly  and  Vaugirard,  and  in  the  north-east  part  of 
the  city;  German  projectiles  ranged  as  far  as  the  church  of  St. 
Sulpice,  a  distance  of  10,000  paces  ;  in  the  more  exposed  streets 
of  Paris,  the  stone  paving  was  torn  up.  The  enemy  made  a 
skilful  use  of  the  entrenchments  in  front  of,  between,  and  in  rear 
of  the  forts  connecting  the  gun  emplacements,  to  construct  new 
batteries  and  change  the  position  of  the  guns.  The  garrison  of 
Fort  Mont  Yaldrien  undertook  a  reconnaissance  against  our 
outposts  at  St.  Germain,  but  were  soon  compelled  to  retreat. 

January  12th. — The  fog,  which  had  been  continuous,  for  the 
last  two  days,  still  interfered  with  our  fire.  The  enemy  replied 
to  it  vigorously  from  the  main  enceinte.  Covered  by  the  fog,  the 
garrison  of  Montrouge  managed  to  mount  some  fresh  guns.  The 
besiegers  threw  their  projectiles  far  into  the  town  beyond  the 
Luxembourg  Palace,  but  the  storming  of  the  south  forts,  which 
at  one  time  was  considered  a  necessity  by  some  of  the  authorities, 
was  abandoned.  In  view  of  the  original  intention,  a  parallel  had 
been  constructed  between  Clamart  and  Chatillon  at  a  distance  of 
1,500  paces  from  Forts  Issy  and  Vanvres  ;  which  would  have 
formed  the  basis  of  a  regular  attack  against  those  forts. 

A  decree  published  by  the  provisional  government  secured  to 
citizens  wounded  by  the  enemy's  shells,  the  same  claim  to 
pension  as  the  military. 

January  l-Sth. — On  account  of  the  continued  fog  the  fire  on 
both  sides  was  slack.     During  the  previous  night  a  vigorous 


sortie  of  the  French,  by  a  force  of  about  4,000  mobiles  stationed 
in  and  behind  the  forts,  was  repulsed  by  detachments  of  the 
Xlth  corps  at  Meudon  and  by  the  Ilnd  Bavarian  corps  at 

January  14th. — The  fire  from  tlie  besiegers'  batteries  was 
continued  ;  the  three  forts  of  Issy,  Vanvres,  and  Montrouge  had 
almost  ceased  to  fire,  but  the  latter  made  an  attempt  to  reply 
with  field  guns  when  there  was  a  favourable  opportunity. 

January  loth. — After  great  labour  and  exertion  battery  No.  1 
(St.  Cloud)  managed  to  silence  the  French  batteries  established 
at  the  Point  du  Jour  in  the  south  bastion,  and  was  enabled  now 
to  continue  its  fire  against  the  three  butteries  in  the  north 
bastion  and  the  town.  Prussian  projectiles  were  thrown  as  far 
as  the  church  of  Notre  Dame  and  the  Jardin  des  Plantes.  The 
dissatisfaction  and  ferment  increased  to  such  an  extent  in  the 
town,  that  General  Troclui  had  publicly  to  contradict  tjie  report 
that  several  generals  had  been  committed  for  treachery. 

January  IGth. — Battery  No.  21  opened  fire  to-day  to  demolish 
the  casemates  in  Fort  Issy. 

January  17th  and  18th. — The  enemy  showed  great  energy  in 
re-arming  along  his  front  and  in  the  unexpected  unmaslcing 
of  guns,  which  had  been  mounted  in  emplacements  within  the 

Then  occurred  that  momentous  event  in  the  history  of  the  world 
when  King  William,  within  sound  of  the  thunder  of  the  siege 
batteries,  accepted  for  himself  and  his  descendants  the  title  of 
Emperor,  off"ered  him  by  the  German  princes  and  free  towns,  with 
the  vow  to  uphold,  in  German  faith,  the  rights  of  the  empire  and 
its  members,  to  preserve  peace,  and  by  the  help  of  his  people 
to  maintain  the  independence  of  Germany,  as  had  been  done 
gloriously  by  Prussia's  kings  for  170  years.  This  ceremony  took 
place  on  the  18th  of  January  1871  in  the  Hall  of  Mirrors  at 
Versailles,  in  the  presence  of  the  German  princes  and  surrounded 
])y  representatives  of  the  Geiman  Army. 

January  19th. — Notwithstanding  the  sortie  from  Fort  Mont 
Valerien  against  the  heights  of  Garches,  the  guns  on  both  sides 
kept  up  an  uninterrupted  fire. 

January  20th. —  There  was  a  slackening  of  the  fire  from  the 
artillery  of  the  defence,  probably  in  consequence  of  the  failure  of 
the  sortie  of  the  previous  day ;  thus,  the  fire  from  Montrouge, 
where  the  guns  had  been  admirably  fought,  almost  ceased 
towards  mid-day  ;  in  the  batteries  at  the  Point  du  Jour  the  fire 
ceased  altogether  for  a  time ;  the  eastern  barracks  in  Fort 
Vanvres  were  set  in  flames.  General  Trochu  sent  General  Count 
d'Herison  to  the  commander  of  the  3rd  army  to  demand  an 
armistice  of  48  hours,  which,  however,  was  only  conceded  on  the 
line  from  St.  Cloud  to  Garches  for  a  sufficient  time  to  bury  the 

January  21st  and  22nd. — Heavy  fire  from  the  batteries  ad- 
joining the  Point  du  Jour  and  the  emplacements  between  the 
three  south  forts  ;  among  the  latter  a  French  redoubt  constructed 


ill  the  interval  between  Forts  Vanvres  and  Montrouge  distin- 
guished itself  particularly ;  it  required  nearly  a  whole  day  for 
our  batteries  to  master  it.  A  powder  magazine  in  rear  of 
Claraart  Wiis  blown  up.  Insurrectionary  movements  of  the 
Parisian  populace  were  observed. 

January  23rd. — Lively  fire  from  the  enceinte  of  the  city  ; 
fresh  batteries  were  unmasked  by  the  French  at  the  entrance  to 
the  Bois  de  Boulogne.  The  artillery  of  the  attack  did  not  allow 
itself  be  troubled  by  this,  but  managed  to  silence  several  bat- 
teries of  the  main  enceinte,  and  subdue  the  fire  of  the  field 
battery  which  had  been  so  active  on  the  previous  day. 

January  24th. — The  fire  of  the  besiegers'  batteries  could  only 
be  continued  at  intervals  on  account  of  the  fog,  the  enemy 
replying  but  feebly.  A  serious  outbreak  occurred  in  Paris  in 
which  the  prison  of  Mazas  was  stormed,  the  prisoners  liberated, 
and  the  granaries  with  supplies  of  bread  and  wine  plundered  by 
the  mob  ;  in  front  of  the  Hotel  de  Ville  the  national  guard 
fired  on  the  insurgents. 

January  25th. — The  enemy  attempted,  under  cover  of  the  fog, 
to  construct  earthworks  in  and  lound  Fort  Issy,  but  were 
prevented.  The  bombardment  continued  as  on  the  pre^^ous 

January  26th. — Clear  wer.ther  ;  the  bombardment  was  only 
weakly  answered  from  the  enceinte  of  the  city,  from  Fort  Mont- 
rouge and  from  the  emplacements  between  Forts  Vanvres  and 
Issy  ;  notwithstanding  the  weather  being  clear  the  artillery  of 
the  defence  were  unable  to  accomplish  anything.  Equally  futile 
was  the  hea^y  fire  from  the  battery  at  the  Point  du  Jour  against 
No.  1  battery.  The  batteries  in  front  of  Claniart  were  fired  at 
but  slightly  from  the  fortifications  of  the  town  and  from  Fort 
Montrouge,  and  the  neighbouring  mortar  batteries  scarcely 
at  all. 

January  27th. — After  midnight  the  batteries  on  both  sides 
ceased  firing  by  common  consent. 

The  losses  of  the  German  artillery  in  the  22  days'  bombardment 
were  12  officers  and  200  men  killed  and  wounded  ;  the  field 
hospitals  were  established  at  Malabry  and  Sceaux,  the  chief 
hospital  at  Igny,  between  Versailles  and  Palaiseau.  Lieutenant- 
General  von  Kamecke,  who  had  been  in  command  of  the  14th 
Division  during  the  campaign,  was  ordered  from  Mezieres  to 
Paris  to  take  over  the  chief  command  of  the  engineering  works 
of  the  attack.  The  works  which  had  been  carried  out  by  the 
engineers  during  the  artillery  bombardment  M'ere,  covered  com- 
munications between  the  batteries,  shelter  trenches,  traverses, 
assistance  in  building  batteries  and  powder  magazines,  shell 
stores,  posts  of  observation,  underground  storerooms  (all  bomb- 
proof), rendering  the  barracks  which  were  not  bombproof 
secure  as  guard  houses,  preparation  of  defences,  constructing  and 
maintaining  roads,  &c.  Althourdi  the  trenches  were  tilled  in 
some  places  with  water  which  increased  the  difficulties  of  usiua- 
them,  It  was  an  evil  which  could  only  be  partially  remedied  :   it 


must  always  occur  at  a  siege  carried  on  during  the  winter,  as 
the  trenches  follow  the  lie  of  the  ground  and  become  the  natural 
points  of  accumulation  for  the  surface  and  subsoil  drainage. 

III. — Artillery  Attack  agaixst  the  North  Front  (St.  Denis). 

The  intricate  works  of  St.  Denis  are  among  the  strongest  of 
the  defences  of  Paris,  but  they  have  one  defect,  that  they  have 
not  a  sufficient  command  to  be  defiladed  from  the  hills  in  front, 
consequently  they  can  be  seen  into,  and  in  some  places  even 
the  works  of  the  gorge  can  be  fired  at. 

On  the  21st  of  December,  there  was  a  sortie  at  Epinay  le  St. 
Denis  against  the  troops  holding  the  investing  line  at  that  place  ; 
the  gun-boats  on  the  Seine  co-operated,  but  eventUcilly  it  was 
successfully  repulsed  by  Prussian  batteries  of  position  at  Orge- 
mont  and  Enghien. 

As  long  as  Mont  Avron  continued  in  possession  of  the  French, 
it  was  impossible  for  the  German  batteries  on  the  north-east 
front  to  approach,  nearer,  because  the  German  position  on  that 
side  of  Paris  as  well  as  the  strong  French  position  La  Cour- 
neuve,  Le  Bourget,  and  Drancy,  was  brought  under  an  effective 
flanking  fire.  The  capture  of  Mont  Avron,  which  was  of  the 
utmost  importance,  as  well  as  the  unsuccessful  sortie  of  the 
French  against  Le  Bourget  on  the  21st  December,  must  have 
proved  to  the  enemy  that  any  attacks  against  the  position  of 
the  Guards  there  could  lead  to  no  result.  In  consequence 
of  these  occurrences  the  French  defence  at  that  point  lost 
its  energy,  and  the  fire  of  the  Prussian  batteries  was  there- 
fore turned  against  the  villages  of  Drancy,  Bobigny,  Bondy,  and 
Rosny,  with  good  effect;  the  forts  of  Noisy  and  Rosny  were 
only  fired  at  occasionally.  In  the  meantime,  a  number  of  other 
German  batteries  were  built  on  the  line  Livry-Garches,  with  the 
intention  of  making  a  frontal  attack  against  the  French  posi- 
tion of  La  Courneuve-Drancy.  Two  batteries  at  Garches  were 
directed  at  the  same  time  to  enfilade  the  works  of  St.  Denis. 

For  the  actual  bombardment  of  St.  Denis,  on  the  capture  of 
which  great  value  was  very  properly  set  at  head-quarters,  it  wns 
necessary,  exclusive  of  the  24  6-pounder  field-guns,  to  organise  a 
special  siege  train,  made  up  from,  the  guns  which  had  been 
employed  at  Mezieres  and  Peronne  ;    namely, 

26  long  24-pounders,  10  short  24-pounders,  82  12-pounders, 
and  3  rifled  mortars. 

The  necessary  preparations  for  the  attack  on  St.  Denis  began 
on  the  10th  of  January  ;  the  siege  train  park  was  established  at 
the  railway  station  of  Gonesse,  a  new  transport  park  for  700 
wagons  was  prepared  at  Ecouen,  and  a  sufficient  materiel,  which 
was  already  partially  prepared,  for  the  construction  of  the 
batteries,  was  collected  in  depots  at  Arnouville  and  Montmorency. 
In  order  not  to  postpone  the  building  of  the  batteries  until  after 


the  arrival  of  the  siege  artillery  companies  from  Mezieres,  tlie 
em^Dlacements  were  constructed  by  men  from  the  field  artillery 
and  by  the  pioneers  of  the  guard  and  4th  corps.  The  following 
15  batteries  were  made  : — 

Batteries  Nos.  1,  2,  and  3,  armed  each  with  six  long  24-pounders, 
and  six  12-pounders  to  fire  against  Drancy,  Bobigny,  and  La 

Battery  No.  4,  armed  with  eight  long  24-pounders,  against 
Foi-t  Aubervilliers  and  the  suburb  of  La  Yilette. 

Batteries  Nos.  5,  6,  7.  8,  and  9,  armed  respectively  with  six 
long  24-pounders,  six  short  24-pounders,  eight  12-pounders,  and 
three  rifled  mortars  against  the  fort  and  village  of  Aubervilliers, 
Fort  de  I'Est,  Double  Couronne,  Fort  de  la  Briche,  and  St. 
Denis.  '^i :  ;. 

Batteries  Nos.  10  and  11,  each  armed  with  six  long  24- 
pounders  and  eight  12-pounders,  against  the  fortifications  of  St. 
Denis  and  the  Seine. 

Battery  No.  12,  armed  with  six  long  24-pounders  to  fire  at 
the  same  objects. 

Batteries  Nos.  18,  14,  and  15,  armed  with  eight  12-pounders, 
four  short,  and  six  long  24-pounders,  against  Forts  de  la  Briche 
Double  Couronne,  and  the  whole  fortress  of  St.  Denis. 

All  these  .batteries  opened  fire  on  the  21st  of  January. 

A  glance  at  the  map  is  sufficient  to  show  that  the  besiegers' 
batteries  had  the  advantage  of  a  concentric  fire  against  St.  Denis, 
the  collateral  forts,  and  the  French  positions  generally.  As  early 
as  the  22nd  of  January,  the  fire  from  St.  Denis  was  almost 
silenced.  The  town  was  in  flames  in  several  places.  The  repulse 
of  the  sortie  on  the  19th  of  January,  and  the  effect  of  the  bom- 
bardment against  the  whole  circle  of  the  Paris  fortifications,  with 
the  exception  of  Mont  Valerien,  had  produced  the  greatest  discord 
and  dissatisfaction  among  the  populace  of  the  capital.  Serious 
risings  occurred  among  the  people,  which  led,  on  the  23rd  of 
January,  to  a  severance  of  the  functions  of  President  of  com- 
mittee of  national  defence  from  those  of  Commander-in-Chief  of 
the  army.  General  Vinoy  was  appointed  to  the  chief  command 
of  the  army  of  Paris,  whilst  General  Trochu  continued  to  be  a 
member  of  the  Government  only. 

In  the  meantime,  on  the  25th  and  26th  of  January,  the  bom- 
bardment of  the  north  front  went  on  without  interruption  until 
the  night  of  the  26th-27th  of  January,  when  the  fire  on  both 
sides  ceased  here  also. 

On  the  evening  of  the  28th  of  January  an  armistice  of  three 
daj^s  was  declared,  for  the  negotiation  of  which  Jules  Favre,  the 
minister  of  foreign  affairs  for  the  Paris  Government,  had  during 
the  last  few  days  visited  Versailles,  and  been  backwards  and 
forwards  between  that  place  and  Paris.  The  conditions  with 
regard  to  Paris  were  settled  with  a  military  commission  which 
arrived  from  the  capital.     They  were  as  folloAvs  : 

All  forts  to  be  at  once  given  up ;  the  main  enceinte  to  be  disarmed. 
The  troops  of  the  line,  marines  and   guards  mobiles  to  become 


prisoners  of  war,  with  the  exception  of  12,000  men  for  the  pre- 
servation of  order  in  the  city.  The  prisoners  to  remain  within  the 
gates  of  the  city  during  the  armistice  and  to  hand  over  their  arms  ; 
the  garde  nationale  and  the  gensdarmerie  to  retain  their  arms. 
All  franc-tireur  corps  to  be  disbanded.  The  Germans  to  assist  the 
French  commissaries  as  far  as  possible  in  the  reprovisioning  of 
Paris.  Persons  desirous  of  quitting  Paris  to  obtain  a  permit  from 
the  French  authorities,  with  a  German  visa.  The  municipality  of 
Paris  to  pay  a  contribution  for  the  town  of  200  million  francs 
within  li  days.  Public  property  not  to  be  removed  during  the 

In  accordance  with  the  above  stipulations,  on  the  29th  of 
January,  at  11  o'clock  in  the  morning,  all  the  forts,  with  the 
exception  of  Vincennes,  were,  after  a  previous  reconnaissance 
for  mines,  &c.,  occupied  by  the  besieging  army ;  Mont  Valerien 
and  Fort  Issy  by  the  Vth  Prussian  corps,  Forts  Vanvres  and 
Montrouge  by  the  Bavarian  corps,  Fort  Charenton  by  the  1st 
Bavarian  corps,  Forts  Ivry  and  Bicetre  by  the  Vlth  Prussian 
corps,  the  redoubts  Gravelle  and  Faisanderie  by  the  Wiirtem- 
berg  division,  Forts  Nogent,  Posny,  Noisy,  and  Romainville  by 
the  XTIth  Saxon  corps,  Fort  d'Aubervilliers  by  the  guard  corps, 
and  the  works  of  St.  Denis  ,by  the  guard  and  I  Vth  corps.  At 
the  same  time  the  outposts  were  brought  within  from  500  to  700 
paces  of  the  enceinte  of  the  town,  and  the  main  positions 
advanced  in  a  corresponding  degree.  In  all  the  forts  occupied  by 
the  Germans  the  necessary  works  were  commenced  that  might  be 
required  if  the  bombardment  had  to  be  continued  at  the  reduced 
rano-e.  In  the  intervals  between  the  south  forts,  and  other 
suitable  positions,  six  new  batteries  were  erected  besides  em- 
placements, which  were  armed  with  the  necessary  guns  and 
prepared  for  opening  fire. 

The  execution  of  the  convention  with  Paris,  and  the  disarma- 
ment, was  carried  out  without  interruption  ;  though  the  delivery 
of  a  large  portion  of  the  arms  did  not  take  place  on  account  of 
the  angry  feeling  of  the  inhabitants,  and  for  other  reasons.  How- 
ever, near  200,000  Chassepot  rifles,  600  field  guns,  and  l,3o0 
garrison  guns  fell  into  the  hands  of  the  victors.  The  total  loss  of 
the  Paris  army  during  the  siege  is  given  as  17,000  kiUed. 

On  the  1st  of  March  10,000  men  from  each  of  the  Vlth  and 
Xlth  Prussian  corps,  and  the  Ilnd  Bavarian  corps,  marched  into 
the  Bois  de  Boulogne,  where  they  were  to  remain  two  days  for  a 
review  which  the  Emperor  King  was  to  hold  in  the  Champs 
Elysees  and  the  adjoining  part  of  the  town. 

Lieutenant- General  Kamecke  acted  as  commandant  of  that  part 
of  Paris  which  was  occupied  by  the  German  troops.  The  latter 
were  to  be  relieved  on  the  3rd  of  March  by  a  body  of  equal  strength 
from  the  guard  corps,  the  siege  artillery,  and  pioneers,  and  the 
King's  grenadiers,  which  had  been  specially  recalled  from  Orleans 
for  the  purpose. 

This,  however,  never  took  place,  as  the  ratification  of  the  pre- 
liminaries of  peace  by  which  the  town  was  to  be  evacuated  at 


once  arrived  from  Bordeaux  on  the  day  before.  His  Majesty 
nevertheless,  held  a  review  on  Longchamps,  and  on  the  same  day 
our  troops  marched  out  of  Paris. 

The  German  armies  now  retired  behind  the  line  of  the  Seine  ; 
those  troops  which  were  prevented  by  the  circumstances  men- 
tioned above  from  passing  in  review  before  His  Majesty  in  Paris, 
namely,  the  Xth  Saxon  corps,  the  1st  Bavarians,  and  the 
Wiirtemberg  division,  were  inspected  by  the  King  at  Villiers. 

This  brings  to  a  close  the  description  which  we  have  given  in 
broad  outline  of  the  glorious  siege  of  Paris,  which  was  carried  on 
during  four  months  and  a  half  with  an  expenditure  of  men  and 
material  on  both  sides,  quite  without  parallel  in  the  history  of 
war;  no  other  siege  can  be  compared  with  it  either  for  military 
importance  or  political  consequences. 



(plate   XIX.) 

This  fortress,  in  the  valley  of  the  Sund,  lies  at  the  junction  of 
three  railroads,  which  lead  on  the  east,  via  Altkirch  and  Miihl- 
hausen  to  Basle,  on  the  west  via  Vesoul  to  Paris,  and  on  the 
south-west  into  the  valley  of  the  Doubs  to  Besan9on ;  it  is 
the  point  of  junction  of  the  roads  from  Epinal,  Miililhausen, 
Basle,  Besan9on,  and  Vesoul.  This  important  position  gives  the 
fortress  its  military  value,  which  is  increased  with  regard 
to  operations  against  Germany,  by  the  pass  leading  between 
the  Jura  and  the  Vosges,  called  the  Troude  of  Belfort,  which 
is  always  passable  and  not  liable  to  snow  drifts  like  most  of 
the  defiles  in  the  latter  range.  The  possession  of  the  fortress 
became  of  the  greatest  importance  to  Germany  after  the  conquest 
of  Alsace  and  the  fortified  towns  there,  and  all  the  more  so,  as 
experience  showed  that  the  population  of  this  district,  everywhere 
hostile  to  the  invaders,  found  a  point  of  support  in  Belfort ; 
besides  which  it  was  to  our  interest  once  and  for  all  to  capture 
the  gate  by  which  French  armies  might  debouch  into  South 

Belfort,  with  14,000  inhabitants,  lies  on  the  left  bank  of  the 
Savoureuse,  a  tributary  of  the  Doubs,  an  arm  of  which  flows 
through  the  town,  where  the  banks  are  lined  with  iron 
foundries.  The  Savoureuse  forms  on  the  north  and  north-east 
of  the  fortress  a  tolerably  broad  valley  with  meadows ;  on  the 
west,  the  slopes  of  the  Haute  du  Mont  and  of  La  Cote,  form  a 
belt  of  undulating  ground  about  1,500  paces  in  width  ;  on  the 
south  side,  there  are  more  meadow  lands,  and  on  the  east,  several 
long  ridges,  of  great  importance  to  the  fortress,  as  well  as  some 
isolated  groups  of  hills  and  ranges  of  heights,  among  them  the 
Perches,  approach  within  the  rayon  of  the  fortress. 

The  ground  plan  of  the  fortress  consists  of  a  fortified  pentagon 
built  chiefly  on  Vauban's  .3rd  system.  The  north  and  west 
fronts  have  three  bastioned  towers  with  detached  bastions  in 
advance  ;  the  latter  front  is  strengthened  by  a  ravelin  with 
retired  flanks,  and  both  are  thoroughly  flanked  by  the  casemates 
in  the  towers.  In  advance  of  the  north  front  lies  the  crown- 
work  of  I'Esperance,  through  which  flows  the  Savoureuse, 
dividing  the  fort  into  two  halves,  the  upper  and  lower  ;  here  is 
the  sluice-gate  of  the  Savoureuse,  by  means  of  which  an  inunda- 

Plate  XIXJ 


tioii  can  be  formed.  At  the  eastern  end  of  this  work  lies  a 
bombproof  barrack,  another  is  situated  on  the  arm  of  the 
Savonreuse,  to  which  alhision  has  ah-eady  been  made;  on  the 
left  wing  is  a  casemated  Ijatter}^  On  the  south-east  side  of  the 
town  lies  the  citadel,  commanding  the  former  ;  it  was  originally 
planned  by  Marshal  Vauban,  and  is  situated  on  a  steep  rock 
rising  to  a  height  of  80  feet  above  the  level  of  the  streets.  This 
fortification  consists  of  a  triple  line  ;  namely,  a.  bastioned  front 
with  two  bombproof  barracks  lying  one  behind  the  other,  a 
counter-guard,  and  the  outer  works,  which  are  of  the  nature 
of  a  crownwork.  Both  the  last-named  lines  of  fortification 
are  provided  partly  with  casemated,  partly  with  open  flanking 
defences,  so  that  the  works  of  the  citadel  taken  as  a  whole 
may  be  considered  ver}^  formidable  and  capable  of  good  resist- 
ance. Whilst  the  cliffs  on  the  south-west  command  the  ground 
lying  to  the  south  of  the  fortress,  and  form  a  natural  termina- 
tion to  the  fortifications  there,  the  defences  of  the  chateau  on 
the  north-east  are  connected,  by  a  separate  work  having  an 
advanced  ravelin,  with  Fort  TEsperance  ;  from  which  the  south- 
eastern slope  of  the  long  ridge  is  swept,  and  on  the  extreme  end 
of  it  is  the  Fort  La  Justice.  The  latter  is  an  independent  fort,  the 
garrison  of  which  can  be  accommodated  in  a  bombproof  redoubt 
and  in  casemates.  The  work  is  connected  by  a  curtain  with 
Fort  la  Miotte.  We  wish  to  call  particular  attention  to  the  lines 
of  these  two  important  outworks,  which  were  planned  by  the  late 
celebrated  inspector-general  of  the  French  engineers.  General 
Haxo,  because  they  rendered  the  construction  of  the  besiegers' 
parallels  and  batteries  against  them  a  labour  of  great  difiiculty, 
almost  of  impossibility.  An  entrenched  camp  for  10,000  men 
lies  between  the  horn  work  I'Esperance,  tlie  work  advanced  on 
the  north-east  of  the  chateau,  and  the  forts  of  La  Justice  and 
La  Miotte.  The  steep  slopes  of  the  long  ridge  form  the  eastern 
side,  whilst  the  opposite  one  is  enclosed  by  an  earthwork  ;  in  the 
interior  lies  the  suburb  of  Brisach. 

Fort  des  Barres,  which  has  a  front  of  nearly  1,200  paces,  is  a 
new  and  spacious  work  lying  on  the  right  bank  of  the  Savour- 
euse  ;  and  covering  the  railway  leading  to  Vesoul  and  Paris. 
The  three  bastions  have  casemates  en  decharge  ;  in  the  centre 
one  is  a  powder  magazine  ;  the  gorge  is  closed  by  a  loopholed 

Notwithstanding  the  skill  with  which  the  works  covered  the 
ground  in  front,  still,  at  the  outbreak  of  the  war,  there  was  a  gap 
in  the  defences,  2,000  paces  south-east  of  the  town,  where  the 
ridge,  called  Perches,  commanded  the  citadel,  &c.  Before  the 
introduction  of  rifled  long-range  guns,  it  may  have  been  of  no 
consequence  to  the  fortress,  all  the  less  so,  because  an  attack  on 
that  side  would  have  been  under  an  efiective  flanking  fire  from 
Forts  La  Justice  and  La  Miotte  ;  now,  however,  the  commandant 
recognised  the  necessity  of  crowning  these  heights  with  two 
works  of  a  strong  profile,  though  constructed  hastily.  The  two 
forts  of  Halite  Perche  and  Basse  Perche  have  each  a   front  of 


from  350  to  400  paces,  pi'ovided  with  two  large  and  roomy 
blockhouses  in  the  gorge,  the  ditches  beiog  blasted  out  of  the 
solid  rock  with  perpendicular  sides,  9  feet  deep  ;  the  ground 
plan  has  the  form  of  a  redoubt  with  a  very  broken  crest  line  ;  on 
either  side  of  the  gorge  were  shelter  trenches.  The  Fort  Basse 
Perche  is  situated  021  the  same  level  as  the  citadel ;  Haute  Perche 
on  the  contrary  lies  30  feet  higher,  so  that  it  commands  the 
citadel,  and  may  be  considered  the  key  of  the  fortress. 

Another  work,  Fort  Bellevue,  which  had  also  been  constructed 
hastily,  lay  near  the  railway  station,  and  covered  the  suburb  of 
Montbeliard  ;  It  likewise  had  the  form  of  a  redoubt,  with  a  very 
indented  crest  line.  Close  to  the  fort  is  a  farm,  which  had  been 
fortified,  and  was  brought  into  the  general  line  of  defence. 

Belfort  was  one  of  those  fortresses  which  immediately  on  the 
outbreak  of  the  war  was  to  have  been  placed  in  a  state  of  defence, 
and  the  experienced  commandant  Colonel  Denfert,  who  belonged 
to  the  engineer  corps,  endeavoured  to  accomplish  this  thoroughly 
with  all  the  means  at  his  disposal.  For  a  long  time  the  commu- 
nication with  the  south,  which  remained  untouched  by  the  war, 
was  open  to  him  ;  and  from  this  side  he  was  enabled  to  complete 
the  provisioning,  as  well  as  to  provide  all  other  matdriel  for  the 
defence,  so  that  the  place  had  been  strengthened  and  armed  with 
the  greatest  care.  By  this  means  all  building  was  much  facili- 
tated, and  was  executed  with  praiseworthy  thoroughness  and 
foresight.  Guns  of  heavy  calibre,  with  considerable  supplies  of 
ammunition  were  brought  from  the  great  arsenals  of  Lyons  and 

None  of  the  French  fortresses  that  fell  into  our  hands  during 
the  course  of  the  war,  except  Metz  and  Paris,  had  detached 
forts,  in  consequence  of  which,  and  also  because  the  besieging 
artillery  were  enabled  to  occupy  advantageous  positions  at  close 
range,  their  capture  occupied  only  a  short  time.  At  Belfort  the 
case  was  quite  different,  for  here  there  were  not  only  very  strong 
well-placed  detached  forts,  which  kept  the  besiegers  at  a  distance, 
but  there  were  extremely  few  places  from  whence  a  successful 
artillery  attack  could  be  carried  out.  The  season  and  the  nature 
of  the  ground  were  also  peculiarly  unfjwourable  to  the  attack. 
In  addition  to  this  was  the  military  capability  of  the  energetic 
commandant,  and  to  him  must  be  given  the  credit  of  having  by 
military  training  and  discipline  turned  the  heterogeneous  garrison, 
confided  to  his  charge,  into  opponents  worthy  of  our  respect. 
But  most  prominent  of  all  was  the  skill  with  wliich  he  defended 
the  ground  in  front  of  the  works.  The  following  description  of 
the  siege  will  show  that  he  only  retired  into  the  fortress  proper, 
during  the  last  days  of  the  defence,  after  the  advance  of  the 
enemy  had  been  impeded  considerably  by  the  use  of  suitable 
field  works  outside  the  fortress,  which  had  been  defended  step 
by  step. 

The  1st  reserve  division,  under  Major-General  von  Tresckow  II., 
received  the  order  in  the  end  of  October  1870  to  invest  Belfort. 
These  troops  were  distributed  at  the  time  throughout  Alsace  and 


in  the  Vosges,  and  the  march  was,  therefore,  commenced  with 
only  11  battalions,  7  squadrons,  and  4  batteries,  inclusive  of  the 
reinforcements  from  tlie  4th  reserve  division.  The  march  was 
accomplished  by  the  2nd  of  November,  after  constant  fights 
with  the  franc-tireurs  and  gardes  mobiles.  On  the  3rcl  of 
November,  the  investment  was  completed;  the  line  occupied  by 
the  outposts  being  5|  miles  (24-6  English  miles)  in  length.  With 
an  infantry  force  of  only  8,000  men,  against  a  garrison  of  double 
that  strength,  who  were  active  op]3onents,  and  on  such  unfavour- 
able ground,  where  the  view  was  intercepted  by  Avoods  and  hills, 
this  was  no  easy  task ;  numerous  bands  of  franc-tireurs  were  in 
the  rear,  and  from  Vesoul  to  Colmar  there  were  no  German 
troops.  Various  reports  about  the  presence  of  Garibaldi's  par- 
tisan corps  on  the  other  side  of  the  Doubs  necessitated  great 
caution.  At  the  same  time,  the  communication  between  the 
different  detachments  was  interrupted  by  high  wooded  hills, 
without  roads,  in  the  possession  of  the  enemy's  outposts,  which 
were  pushed  far  to  the  front.  Without  loss  of  time  the  strong 
castle  of  Montbeliard,  lying  about  three  miles  (14  English  miles) 
to  the  south  of  Belfort,  was  occupied.  It  lies  on  the  Rhine-Rhone 
canal,  and  is  at  the  junction  of  the  Allaine,  Savoureuse,  and 
Lisaine  ;  it  was  placed  in  a  good  state  of  defence,  and  provisioned 
for  three  weeks.  The  roads  that  had  been  broken  up  were 
repaired,  and  the  neighbourhood  cleared  of  franc-tireurs.  The 
patrols  having  reported  that  Dampierre  to  the  south-west  of 
Montbeliard  Avas  occupied  by  the  enemy,  General  von  Tresc- 
kow  II.  advanced  on  the  11th  November  by  both  banks  of  the 
Doubs  to  Clerval,  pushing  the  enemy  in  front  of  him,  who  in 
retiring  blew  up  the  bridges  and  destroyed  the  communication. 

In  front  of  Belfort  there  were  daily  small  collisions  with 
the  enemy's  advanced  outposts,  who  were  gradually  driven 
back  on  the  fortress.  In  the  meantime.  Forts  Miotte,  Justice, 
and  the  two  Perches,  having  a  high  command  and  extended  view 
over  the  ground  in  this  direction,  kept  up  a  heavy  fire  on  the 
wretched  villages  that  were  used  as  cantonments,  so  that  these 
were  completely  destroyed. 

After  the  fall  of  Breisach,  the  division  received  the  order  to 
open  the  siege ;  General  von  Mertens  to  take  command  of  the 
engineer  works,  and  Lieutenant-Colonel  von  Scheliha  of  the  siege 
artillery.  The  technical  preparations  for  the  siege  met  with 
many  difiiculties ;  above  all,  the  bringing  up  of  the  guns,  ammu- 
nition, other  siege  apparatus,  and  the  provisions  occupied  much 
time,  as  the  transport  by  rail,  via  Miihlhausen,  could  only  be 
effected  as  far  as  Dannemarie,  and  from  the  latter  place  by  road 
through  a  difficult  country.  The  principal  siege  train  park  was 
north  of  Chalonvillars  on  the  Paris-Belfort  road ;  another  at 
Moval  on  the  road  to  Delle. 

The  next  thing  was  to  secure  the  besieging  army  towards  the 
south,  where  the  French  held  a  line  from  the  Swiss  frontier  to 
Isle  sur  Doubs  ;  constant  fights  occurred  here,  and  gradually  all 
the  bridges  over  the  Doubs  were  destroyed  by  one  party  or  the 
other.     It  was  above  all  things  necessary  for  the  troops  carrying 

36996.  X 


on  the  sieoe  to  gain  ground  immediately  in  front  of  the  fortress ; 
a  task  which  was  rendered  very  difficult  by  the  behaviour  of  the 
garrison  ;  they  made  a  sortie  against  Bessoncourt  on  the  15th  of 
November,   with    three   battalions    and    six   guns,   which   was 
repulsed   by  the  Neustadt  battalion   of  landwehr ;    the  enemy 
lost  three  officers  and  200  men.     On  the  23rd  of  November  the 
combined  landwehr  regiment,  under  Colonel  Geiicke,  captured 
Valdoye  and  Mont  d'Arsot,  and  that  under  Lieutenant-Colonel 
Ostrowsky,  seized  the  strongly-occupied  villages  of  Cravanche 
and  Essert  with  Mont  Salbert,  which  lies  between  them.     The 
enemy  made  repeated  attempts  to  re-capture  these,  but  failed ; 
similar  sorties  were  made  on  the  24th  of  November  against  the 
villao-es  of  Vezelois  and  Sevenans,  which  were  repulsed  by  the 
Zitzewitz  landwehr  regiment.    The  enemy  could  only  be  driven 
step  by  step  out  of  his  advanced  positions ;  each  separate  village 
or  wood  was  the  object  of  a  struggle  ;  the  night  surprises  were 
generally  successful,  by    which  means   the  villages  of  Botans, 
Aroid-ians,  and  Bavilliers  fell  into  our  hands,  and  enabled  our 
outposts  to  be  advanced  to  the  eastern  slope  of  the  Hauteur  du 
Mont  and  to  the  Tuilerie,  that  is  to  say,  into  the  neighbourhood 
of  Forts  Bellevue  and  des  Barres.     From  this  moment  the  close 
investment  began  ;  the  outposts,  however,  still  extending  for  a 
distance  of  from  5  to  6  leagues^  whilst  the  cantonments  of  the 
main  body  occupied  from  9  to  10.     It  was  necessary,  as  soon  as 
the  besiegers  captured  the  successive  positions,  to  secure  them 
with  field  works,  and  maintain  the  utmost  vigilance  in  patrolling. 
The  headquarters  were  removed  from  La  Ciiapelle  to  Fontaine, 
and  the  corps,  notwithstanding  the  dispersed  positions  it  occupied, 
had  also  to  cover  a  line  of  communication  for  IG  miles  (75  English 
miles)  in  Alsace. 

In  consequence  of  a  reconnaissance  which  had  taken  place  on 
the  16th  of  November,  it  was  decided  to  try  the  result  of  a  bom- 
bardment, as  it  might,  perhaps,  influence  a  capitulation,  and  also 
because  sufficient  materiel  for  a  regular  siege  had  not  yet  arrived. 
To  the  east  of  Essert  lies  a  flat-topped  ridge,  where  the  batteries 
for  this  purpose  could  be  constructed  undercover  of  the  advanced 
troops  ;  the  construction  of  Batteries  Nos.  1,  2,  3,  4,  5,  6,  and  7, 
armed  respectively  with  four  12-pounders,  two  short  24-pounders, 
and     two     12-pounders,    four    short     24-pounders,    four    long 
24-pounders,  four  12-pounders,  four  27-centimetre  mortars,  and 
four  long  12  pounders  was  commenced,  whilst  a  demonstration 
was  made  on  the  east  side   of  the  fortress  by  Colonel  von  Bud- 
denbrock's    detachment  to  engage  the  attention  of  the  enemy. 
The  construction  of  the  batteries  was  completed  on  the  night  of 
the  2nd-3rd  of  December,  unperceived  by  the  enemy,  notwith- 
standing  the   moonlight.      When   the  batteries  opened  fire  at 
8  o'clock  in  the  morning,  the  artillery  of  the   defence  replied  to 
them  with  vigour  and  without  intermission.     This  cost  us  a  loss 
of  one  officer  and  10  men  killed  and  30  wounded  ;  our  projectiles 
ranged  up  to  the  suburbs  of  Belfort  and  the  neighboiu'hood  of 
the  castle,  without,  however,  doing  much  damage  to  the  enemy's 
artillery   in   their    commanding    position.      The   bombardment 


reached  its  height  on  the  8th  and  9th  of  December,  witli  good 
results,  against  the  Faubourg  de  France  ;  the  artillery  of  the 
garrison  had  set  in  flames  the  villages  of  Cravanche,  Bavilliers, 
and  Essert,  In  order  to  draw  closer  round  the  fortress,  and 
prepare  for  the  formal  attack  on  the  Perches,  the  besiegers' 
artillery  was  extended  towards  the  right  flank  ;  for  this  purpose 
the  outposts  on  the  south  side  had  to  be  advanced.  In  the 
execution  of  this,  on  the  night  of  the  14th  of  December,  the 
Deutsch-Crone  battalion  seized  the  wood  of  Bosmont,  which  was 
diflicult  to  penetrate,  and  had  been  strengthened  by  abattis,  and 
the  Konitz  battalion  took  the  Grand  Bois,  where  they  captured 
an  enemy's  piquet  of  one  officer  and  45  men.  On  the  other 
hand  an  attack  made  in  the  same  night  against  Danjoutin  failed, 
partly  because  it  was  occupied  in  great  strength,  and  partly 
because  the  artillery  fire  which  was  to  prepare  the  way  for  the 
assault  had  not  been  sufficiently  eftective  against  the  enemy's 
defences  on  account  of  the  fog.  At  the  same  time  the  enemy 
made  a  sortie  against  Bavilliers.  Our  loss  was  two  officers  and 
79  men ;  that  of  the  enemy  one  officer  and  80  unwounded 
prisoners.  These  circumstances  made  it  possible  on  the  night  of 
the  17th-18tli  of  December  to  build  No.  8  battery  for  four  long 
24-pounders  to  act  against  And elnans  and  Danjoutin  ;  with  the 
same  object.  Batteries  Nos.  Ha  and  9  were  thrown  up  during  the 
night  of  the  l7th-18th  of  December,  armed  respectively  with 
two  J2-pounders  and  four  6-pounders,  as  well  as  with  two 
27-centimetre  mortars. 

It  now  became  necessary  to  strengthen  the  existing  artillery 
positions  to  the  south-west  of  the  fortress,  and  to  place  the  re- 
quisite batteries  on  well  selected  points  at  a  nearer  range.  Their 
execution,  however,  had  to  be  postponed  partly  on  account  of 
the  continuous  rain  having  cut  up  the  i^oads,  which  had  never 
been  good,  and  thus -delayed  the  transport  of  the  guns ;  and 
partly  on  account  of  the  want  of  troops,  who  were  scarcely 
sufficient  for  the  works  and  the  duties  under  arms  ;  further  the 
seven  battalions  of  the  4th  reserve  division,  who  were  coming 
to  reinforce  the  Germans,  arrived  but  slowly,  and  the  total  of 
the  investing  army,  including  the  detachments  in  the  south  on 
the  heights  of  Montbeliard,  was  only  22  battalions  of  800  men 
each.  In  the  meantime  frost  had  set  in,  and  the  arming  of  the 
batteries  could  be  proceeded  with.  Batteries  Nos.  10,  11,  and 
12  were  built  on  the  evening  of  the  24th  of  December  at  Bavil- 
liers, the  first  being  armed  with  four  long  24-pounders,  and  the 
two  latter  with  four  12-pounders  each.  They  were  to  fire  against 
the  horn  work  of  I'Esperance,  the  post  of  La  Ferme  and  the 
Perches ;  then  batteries  Nos.  13  and  14  were  built  under  great 
difficulties  on  account  of  the  crround,  and  armed  each  with 
four  long  24-pounders ;  they  were  to  fire  against  the  Forts 
Haute-Perche,  and  La  Justice.  The  batteries  Nos.  10,  11,  and 
12,  however,  did  not  open  fire  until  the  28th  of  December,  after 
they  had  been  connected  by  trenches  with  the  batteries  on  the 

N  2 


left  at  Epert,  and  ou  the  right  with  the  village  of  Bavilliers. 
In  the  night  of  the  28th-29th  of  December  batteries  Nos.  15,  16, 
17,  and  18  were  begun,  the  first  one  armed  with  four  27-centi- 
metre mortars  and  the  remaining  "three  with  four  12-pounders 
each  ;  they  were  to  0]3en  fire  on  the  7th  of  January  against 
the  village  of  Daujoutin,  still  remaining  in  the  possession  of 
the  enemy,  and  against  the  two  Perches.  Battery  No.  19  was 
also  built  at  this  date  ;  it  was  originally  armed  with  two  21- 
centimetre  mortars,  and  later  with  two  25-centimetre  mortars,  to 
throw  shells  into  the  town  and  citadel. 

The  first  news  of  the  approach  of  a  relieving  army  under  the 
command  of  General  Bourbaki  was  received  on  the  25th  of 
December,  The  situation  of  tlie  besieging  array  was  not  a 
favourable  one.  The  XI Vth  corps  stood  far  ofif  at  Dijon ;  the 
troops  of  the  investment  occupied  extended  positions,  whilst  the 
batteries  and  siege  train  parks  were  on  the  side  from  which 
the  enemy  was  approaching.  What  was  going  on  on  the  other 
side  of  the  Doubs  behind  the  enemy's  outposts  was  unknown,  as 
the  bridges  were  blown  up  and  other  communications  destroyed. 
As  soon,  however,  as  the  news  was  confirmed  the  siege  operations 
had  to  be  slackened.  But  the  position  at  Arcey,  as  well  as  the 
section  of  the  Allaine,  had  to  be  prepared  with  field  works  and 
occupied  in  greater  strength  ;  four  24-pounders  were  mounted 
in  the  castle  of  Montbeliard,  the  bridges  over  the  Allaine  pre- 
pared for  blowing  up,  and  the  roads  from  Isle  sur  Doubs  to 
Hericourt  and  Montbeliard  blocked. 

Between  the  29th  and  31st  of  December,  the  besieging  army 
was  reinforced  by  a  detachment  from  Alsace  under  command  of 
General  von  Debschitz,  consisting  of  3  battalions,  2  squadrons, 
and  2  batteries,  so  that  the  total  of  the  investing  army  was 
raised  to  30  battalions,  G  squadrons,  6  batteries,  2(j  companies 
of  artillery  (of  which  7  were  Bavarian,  4  Baden,  and  3  Wtirtem- 
berg)  and  G  companies  of  pioneers  (to  which  Bavaria,  Baden,  and 
Wiirtemberg  each  contributed  1).  The  Prussian  siege  artillery 
before  Belfort  consisted  of  12  companies  from  the  guard,  4th, 
6th,  and  7th  garrison  artillery  regiments.  The  detachment  of 
General  von  Debschitz  occupied  the  line  Audincourt-Vaudon- 
court- Croix,  where  they  were  in  frequent  collision  with  the 
enemy's  outposts ;  thus,  for  instance,  on  the  2nd  of  January  at 
St.  Croix  with  the  Liegnitz  battalion,  when  four  French  officers 
and  200  men  were  driven  over  the  Swiss  frontier.  At  Arcey, 
also,  where  Colonel  von  Bredow  was  posted  with  5  battalions, 
2  squadrons,  and  2  batteries,  the  necessary  reconnaissances 
towards  Isles  sur  Doubs  led  to  skirmishes.  Under  these  circum- 
stances the  opening  of  the  regular  attack,  which  was  now  fully 
prepared,  had  to  be  postponed.  The  construction  of  batteries  con- 
tinued steadily  nevertheless,  and  when  it  appeared  that  the  enemy 
had  withdrawn  in  consequence  of  the  movements  of  the  XlVth 
corps  to  its  left,  and  that  an  attack  from  the  relieving  army 
was  no  longer  imminent,  the  necessary  movements  of  troops  for 
the  intended  opening  of  the  formal  siege  was  ordered.     As  a 


preliminary  to  this,  Captain  von  Manstein,  commander  of  the 
Schneidemiihl  landwehr  battaUon  was  directed  on  the  night  of 
the  8th  January  to  sieze  the  village  of  Danjoutin,  which  was 
entrenched  and  held  in  force  by  the  enemy.  The  5  th  and  7th 
companies  quitted  the  wood  east  of  Danjoutin  half  an  hour  after 
midnight  and,  followed  by  the  Gth  and  8th  companies,  advanced 
to  the  attack  of  the  eastern  edge  of  the  village.  The  attack 
succeeded,  and  while  the  7th  and  5th  companies  pushed  the 
enemy  out  of  the  houses  and  from  the  barricades  in  the  village, 
a  company  of  pioneers  immediately  put  them  in  a  state  of 
defence;  a  company  from  the  1st  and  14th  landwehr  regi- 
ments endeavoured  to  cut  off  the  enemy  on  tlie  south-west, 
whilst  the  5th  and  8th  companies  occupied  the  railway  station, 
so  as  to  be  in  position  to  oppose  an  expected  sortie  from  the 
Perches,  which  actually  took  place  soon  after,  supported  by  a 
battery  that  came  into  action  at  Fort  Bellevue,  and  was  repulsed. 
Notwithstandino;  the  excellent  and  well-executed  arrano-ements, 
we  lost  2  officers  and  80  men,  and  the  enemy  3  officers  and  Q5 
men,  exclusive  of  18  officers  and  700  men  made  prisoners.  The 
building  of  the  batteries  made  but  slow  progress  on  account  of 
the  frost  and  the  rocky  soil.  The  pioneers  assisted  in  lajdng  out 
and  completing  the  battery  communications  at  Ravilliers,  and 
afterwards  entrenched  the  village  of  Danjoutin.  Still  the  formal 
attack  could  not  be  begun,  as  the  relieving  army  was  again 

On  the  9tli  of  January,  the  march  of  French  columns  from  Cour- 
celles  on  Arcey  was  reported.  Colonel  von  BredoAV  concentrated 
his  detachment  there,  and  exchanged  a  few  shots  with  the  enemy. 
The  French  advanced  from  Seloncourt  towards  Vaudoncourt  and 
Dasle  against  the  detachment  of  General  von  Debschitz,  but  were 
repulsed  ;  on  the  next  day  a  portion  of  the  detachment  made  an 
attack  on  Abevilliers.  On  the  10th  of  January  the  enemy  de- 
veloped a  larger  force  with  guns,  opposite  to  Von  Bredow's 
detachment,  but  without  attacking.  General  von  Werder  sent 
information  that  he  was  marching  on  Belfort ;  he  arrived  on  the 
11th  of  January,  and  all  the  pioneers  and  a  portion  of  the  siege 
guns  were  placed  at  his  disposal. 

The  positions  Abevilliers,  Audincourt,  Montbeliard,  Hericourt, 
Chagey,  Frahier  were  fortified  and  provided  with  emjjlacements 
for  guns  of  position,  which  afterwards  had  an  important  influence 
on  the  successful  issue  of  the  battle.  The  bridges  over  the 
Lisaine,  at  Busurel,  and  others  as  far  as  Dello  were  blown  up,  and 
the  passage  of  the  Ballon  d'Alsac  to  the  north  of  Giromagny 
destroyed  by  Nagle's  Bavarian  pioneer  company ;  the  bridges 
lying  in  the  line  of  retreat  had  to  be  restored.  Von  Bredow's 
detachment  in  its  advanced  position  at  Arcey  had  assisted 
materially  in  arresting  the  progress  of  the  enemy,  so  that  the 
divisions  on  the  march  gained  time  to  form  up  behind  the  section 
of  the  Lisaine. 

We  must  pass  over  the  general  description  of  the  battle  there. 
General  von  Tresckow  II.  took  command  of  the  left  wing  of  the 


Prussian  position,  in  addition  to  that  of  the  investing  army. 
General  von  Debschitz  passed  under  the  immediate  command  of 
General  von  Werder,  and  had  to  maintain  a  series  of  fights 
between  Doubs  and  the  Swiss  frontier.  Those  troops  of  the  4th 
reserve  division,  which  had  formed  a  part  of  the  besieging  army, 
rejoined  it.  The  1st  reserve  division,  to  whom  the  task  of  the 
investment  was  allotted,  had  only  a  small  share  of  the  fighting ; 
as,  for  instance,  in  the  attack  on  Chenebier,  where  the  fusilier 
battalion  of  the  G7th  regiment,  in  company  with  Baden  troops, 
lost  5  officers  and  110  men.  During  the  battle  the  besieging 
army  remained  constantly  under  arms  ;  the  garrison  onl}^  made 
two  small  sorties  against  the  west  flank.  The  bombardment  of 
the  fortress  as  well  as  the  construction  of  the  batteries  continued 

It  was  at  this  time  that  batteries  Nos.  21,  22,  23,  24,  and  25 
were  built  to  fire  on  the  citadel.  Forts  la  Justice  and  Miotte,  as 
well  as  on  the  hornwork  and  the  main  enceinte ;  they  v/ere 
armed  respectively  with  two  smooth-bore  and  two  rifled  21  centi- 
metre mortars,  four  short  French  24-pounders,  four  long  24- 
pounders,  four  long  24-pounder?,  and  five  12-pounders. 

After  the  departure  of  Bourbaki's  army  the  siege  was  again 
carried  on  with  energy.  On  the  night  of  the  21st  of  January  the 
ground  necessary  for  the  security  of  the  right  wing  of  the  first 
parallel  as  well  as  the  village  of  Perouse  were  occupied.  This 
attack  was  conduced  by  Colonel  von  Zglinicky,  commanding  the 
67th  regiment;  the  1st  and  2nd  battalions,  the  former  being  in 
reserve,  seized  the  entrenched  woods  of  Baillis  and  Taillies  at 
midnight,  and  a  landwehr  battalion  of  the  26tli  regiment  took 
the  wood  of  Morveaux  as  well  as  the  redoubt  there,  all  without 
firing  a  shot.  At  Perouse,  on  the  contrary,  there  was  severe 
hand-to-hand  fio-htine:  both  in  the  streets  and  houses,  but  their 
possession  was  maintained  regardless  of  the  heavy  fire  from 
the  two  Perches  and  from  Fort  Justice.  As  a  means  of  re- 
cognition among  the  columns  tlie  forcible  German  countersign 
of  "Haut  ihn "  (strike  him)  was  given.  Our  casualties  on 
this  occasion  were  8  officers  and  17-J  men,  while  the  enemy 
lost  5  officers  and  93  men  as  unwounded  prisoners  alone.  Battery 
No.  8,  armed  with  four  12-pounders,  had  been  engaged  against 
Perouse  ever  since  the  Sth  of  January.  On  the  evening  of  the 
21st  of  that  month,  the  first  parallel  on  the  line  Danjoutin- 
Perouse  against  the  Perches,  together  with  the  communications  in 
rear  were  completed  by  a  working  party  of  3,000  men,  without 
any  important  interruption  from  the  enemy  ;  it  was  only  delaj'^ed 
by  the  ground  being  frozen  to  a  depth  of  1^  feet  and  the  rocky 
nature  of  the  soil.  For  these  reasons  the  parallels  and  communi- 
cations could  not  be  completed  to  the  necessary  profile  until  the 
26th  of  January.  The  following  batteries  were  built  gradually  in 
line  with  the  parallels:  No.  26  for  four  50-pounder  mortars 
against  the  Basse- Perche,  No.  27  for  four  12-pounders  against  the 
Haute-Perche,  No.  28  for  four  60-pounder  mortars,  and  No.  34 
for  two  6-pounders  and  two  25-pounder  mortars  against  the  Haute- 


Perche,  and  to  secure  the  parallel  against  sorties.  The  ]-)iincipal 
engineer  depot  was  in  rear  of  batteries  Nos.  15  to  18,  on  the  high 
road  where  it  quits  Daujoutin  at  the  south-east ;  two  other  engi- 
neer depots  were  behind  the  railway  embankment,  at  the  point 
where  it  intersected  the  approaches.  The  artillery  of  the  defence 
were  at  this  period,  although  not  very  energetic,  still  fairly 
active.  The  attack  on  the  Perches  was  rendei-ed  difficult  both  by 
fire  from  the  castle  and  Forts  la  Justice  and  Miotte  as  well  as  by 
the  rocky  ground,  the  parapets  on  which  had  in  some  places  to  be 
formed  of  sand  bags.  Notwithstanding  these  difficulties,  the 
second  parallel  was  completed  l)y  the  1st  of  February.  At  this 
period,  the  construction  of  mortar  batteries  No.  29  for  eight 
7-pounder  mortars,  against  the  Haute-Perche,  and  No.  80  against 
the  Basse-Perche  for  four  7-pounder  mortars.  No.  31  for  six 
GO-pounders  against  La  Justice  and  Miotte,  and  gun  batteries 
Nos.  32  and  33  against  La  Justice  and  the  town,  was  taken  in 
hand.  The  labour  was  very  severe  at  first  on  account  of  the 
cold,  afterwards  on  account  of  the  water,  which  in  consequence  of 
the  sudden  thaw  and  rain  filled  the  trenches  in  some  places  to  a 
depth  of  four  feet ;  as  the  bottom  of  the  trench  could  not  be 
constructed  level,  but  had  to  follow  the  natural  inclination  of  the 

There  were  many  pressing  reasons  for  bringing  the  siege  to  a 
speedy  conclusion,  and  an  assault  on  the  two  Perches  was  there- 
fore ordered  for  the  evening  of  the  26th  of  Januar}^  Five 
infantry  companies,  and  one  of  pioneers  were  told  off  for  this 
duty.  According  to  the  arrangement,  three  infantry  companies 
were  to  form  the  attacking  party,  one  on  each  flank,  the  third  to 
advance  against  the  gorge  of  the  works,  two  companies  to  remain 
in  support;  the  pioneers  were  to  blow  up  the  half-sunken  block- 
houses in  the  ditches  at  the  gorge,  remove  palisades  and  cut  steps 
in  the  counterscarp  and  parapet ;  a  working  party,  2,400  strong, 
were  drawn  up  in  the  parallel,  ready,  in  the  event  of  the  assault 
being  successful,  to  continue  the  trenches  up  to  the  Perches  as  well 
as  to  construct  the  connecting  line  of  entrenchment.  Colonel  von 
Zglinicky  commanded  the  whole.  The  left  column  against  fort 
Basse  Perche  pushed  forward  up  to  the  ditch  at  a  quarter  before 
7  o'clock  in  the  evening.  Tlie  pioneers  with  First- Lieutenant  von 
Bichthofen  and  Lieutenant  Kraatz,  jumped  down  and  began  their 
work  ;  the  infantry  columns  pressed  forward  with  them,  one 
entered  the  ditch  in  front  and  the  other  two  into  the  trench-like 
ditches  on  either  side  of  the  gorge.  The  commandant  in  expecta- 
tion of  such  an  assault  had  placed  two  battalions  with  a  working 
party  in  reserve  in  rear  of  the  forts,  who,  advancing  at  the  right 
moment,  repulsed  the  attack.  The  result  of  the  attack  by  the 
right  column  on  Haute-Perche  was  more  satisfactory  so  far,  that 
an  undulation  of  the  o-round  screened  it  from  the  defender's  view 
durmg  the  greater  portion  of  its  advance,  but  beyond  that  point 
it  was  checked  by  the  heavy  fire  of  the  enemy.  The  assault 
therefore  completely  failed.  The  loss  of  the  right  column  was 
small,  the  left  column  had  5  officers  and  250  unwounded  men. 


taken  prisoners,  as  they  were  surrounded  by  a  superior  Frencli 
force  in  the  ditches  from  which  they  could  not  escape  ;  there  were, 
besides,  9  officers  and  168  men  killed  and  wounded.  Both  columns 
were  much  hnpeded  by  wire  entanglements,  that  were  formed 
between  the  stumps  of  the  trees,  where  the  wood  of  Perche  had  been 
felled.  The  reconnaissances  previously  undertaken  by  engineer 
officers,  Captain  Koch  of  the  Caden  pioneers  and  First-Lieutenant 
von  Eichthofen  (who  was  taken  prisoner  in  the  assault)  failed  on 
account  of  the  watchfulness  of  the  French  sentries  and  led  there- 
fore to  no  result. 

After  the  26th  Januarj^",  news  of  a  fresh  movement  of  a  con- 
siderable hostile  force  from  Morteau  and  Hyppolyte,  made  it  neces- 
sary to  bring  the  strength  of  General  v.  Debschitz's  detachment, 
which  had  advanced  fighting  to  Blamont  and  Pont  de  Roide, 
up  to  7  battalions,  2  squadrons,  and  2  batteries.  General 
V.  Debschitz  encountered  masses  of  unarmed  French  troops 
beyond  Maiche,  who  passed  over  the  Swiss  frontier.  After  this 
detachment,  assisted  by  the  4th  reserve  division,  had  cleared  the 
country  between  the  Doubs  and  the  Swiss  frontier  as  far  as 
Pontarlier,  it  returned.  In  the  meantime  the  trench  work  pro- 
gressed rapidly,  partly  by  flying  sap,  partly  by  half  double  sap, 
according  as  the  vigilance  of  the  enemy,  the  energy  of  his  fire, 
and  the  weather  and  time  of  day  permitted.  The  engineer  corps 
had  to  lament  the  loss  of  First-Lieutenant  Miiller,  who  died,  and 
of  Captains  Koch  and  von  Oidtmann,  of  Lieutenants  Adam  and 
Longard,  who,  with  many  pioneers,  were  wounded. 

The  difficulties  of  the  ground  and  the  disease  among  the 
troops  increased  seriously.  There  was  so  much  sickness,  espe- 
cially among  the  technical  troops,  that  it  became  necessary  to 
order  up  two  additional  companies  of  garrison  pioneers  from 
Strasburg  for  the  siege.  The  gun  emplacements  Nos.  35  and 
36  aojaiust  the  Haute-Perche,  having  been  constructed  and 
armed  each  with  two  6-pounders,  opened  fire.  On  the  8th  of 
February  the  two  Perches  were  successfully  captured  by  sur- 
prise. Captain  Rose  of  the  engineers,  who  was  on  duty  v/ith 
his  company  in  the  crowning  against  the  Haute-Perche,  noticed 
that  there  were  no  French  sentries  behind  the  rampart.-  He 
jumped  at  once  into  the  ditch,  climbed  the  parapet,  called  on 
the  nearest  men  at  work  in  the  trenches  to  follow,  ordered 
the  covering  party,  consisting  of  the  Gels  and  Hirschberg 
battalions,  to  advance,  and  pressed  forward  into  the  interior, 
taking  as  prisoners  10  of  the  weak  garrison.  As  soon  as  First- 
Lieutenant  von  Weltzien  and  Captain  Pflaume,  both  of  the 
engineers,  saw  what  happened,  they  agreed  with  Major  Brink- 
mann  of  the  Kirschberg  battalion,  to  make  a  similar  assault  on 
the  Basse-Perche,  which  was  captured  after  a  short  fight. 

On  the  19th  February,  batteries  Nos.  37,  38,  and  39  opened 
their  fire,  the  two  first  against  the  castle,  and  the  latter  against 
Fort  Justice.  They  were  each  armed  with  four  long  2'1-pounders, 
and  their  construction,  apart  from  certain  interruptions,  had 
occupied  a  very  long  time. 

185 : 

In  the  niglit  of  the  9th-10th  of  February,  the  connecting 
works  between  the  captured  forts  and  the  lodgment  in  the  interior 
were  completed.  Besides  shattered  gun-carriages,  there  were 
found  in  each  fort  three  partially  disabled  guns.  The  artillery 
officers  immediately  brought  their  guns  out  of  the  nearest  batteries, 
by  a  temporary''  bridge  made  over  the  ditch  ;  and  opened  fire  to 
meet  an  expected  sortie  of  the  enemy.  The  latter  replied  with  a 
very  heavy  cannonade  lasting  several  hours,  during  which,  however, 
the  works  in  the  gorge  had  to  be  continued.  We  lost  in  consequence 
]  officer  (Lieutenant  v,  SteinkeUer),  6  men  killed,  and  33  wounded. 
On  the  same  evening  the  commandant  demanded  an  armistice. 
This  was,  however,  refused,  as  the  commandant  requested  to 
hold  the  fortress  until  the  return  of  the  officer  who  had  been 
despatched  to  the  French  Government  for  instructions.  In  the 
meantime,  the  following  batteries  were  constructed  in  the  second 
parallel  ;  No.  40  for  four  27-centimetre  mortars  against  the 
castle,  Nos.  41  and  42  for  six  60-pounders  and  four  7-pounder 
mortars  repectively,  to  fire  against  the  castle  and  the  farm  ;  the 
former  opened  fire  on  the  1 0th,  and  the  latter  on  the  11th  of 
February.  The  heights  of  the  two  Perches  were  now  turned  into 
a  formidable  artillery  position  for  60  guns  placed  thus  : 

a.  On  the  right  of  the  Haute-Perche,    batteries  Nos.  39,   38, 
and  37,  armed  each  with  four  24-pounders,  and  No.  53, 
for  four    24-pounders,  against   the  Citadel   and    Fort  la 
h.  Between  the  Haute  and  Basse  Perches,  batteries  Nos.   34(X, 
43,  44,  45,   46,  47,  48,   49,  and  50,  armed  respectively 
with  four  12-pounders,  four  12-pounders,  four  long  24- 
pounders,    four     50-pounders,    and    two     27-eentimetre 
mortars,    four  short   24-pounders,  four  12-pounders,  four 
12-pounders,   and   four   12-pounders,    all   to  fire  against 
the  Citadel. 
c.  To  the  left  of  the   Basse-Perche,  batteries  Nos.  51,  52,  and 
36a,  armed  respectively  with  four  long  24-pounders,  four 
short  24-pounders,  and  two   6-pounders,  to  fire   on  the 
Citadel,  the  west  front  of  the  town,  and  Fort  des  Barres. 
Finally,  battery  No.  53,  for  four  long  24-pounders,  was  con- 
structed south  of  Perouse,  to  fire  against  Fort  Miotte. 
After  calling  the  attention  of  the  commandant  to  this  impos- 
ing artillery  array,  he  was  summoned,  at  3  p.m.  on  the  13th  of 
February,  to  surrender.     Just  at  this  time  the  expected  instruc- 
tions from  his  government  arrived;  and  the  negotiations,  which 
were   at    once   begun  with    Captain  von  Schultzendorf,   of  the 
general  staff,  led  to  a  preliminary  armistice,  to^  give  the  ^  com- 
mandant an  opportunity  of  learning  the  situation  of  affairs  in 
France,  as  well  as  to  enable  him  to  prepare  for  the  capitulation. 

There  was  no  interruption  in  the  engineers'  works,  who  pushed 
out  a  sap  from  Basse-Perche  against  the  castle  during  the  night 
of  the  14th  of  February,  and  only  ceased  the  advance  towards 


On  the  afternoon  of  the  loth  of  February,  the  commandant 
announced  himself  prepared  to  surrender  the  fortress.  The 
neo-otiations  continued  until  4  o'clock  in  the  afternoon  of  the 
16th  of  February.  A  convention  was  concluded  by  which  the 
commandant  of  the  fortress.  Colonel  Denfert-Rochereau,  was  to 
hand  over  the  town,  the  forts,  and  the  war  materiel,  to  General 
von  Tresckow  II.  on  the  IStli  of  February  at  mid-day ;  the 
garrison  (with  the  exception  of  the  guards)  were  to  quit  the 
fortress  before  that  hour  with  all  the  honours  of  war,  in  con- 
sideration of  their  gallant  defence.  The  garrison  were  marched 
by  two  roads,  in  echelons  of  1,000  men,  to  the  department  Saone 
and  Loire.  7,000  were  marched  off  on  the  1 7th  of  February,  and 
7,500  followed  on  the  1 8th.  According  to  the  report  that  was 
received,  the  garrison  numbered  17,000,  of  whom  11,500  left  the 
fortress,  leaving  2,000  sick  behind ;  the  remaining  3,500  were 
accounted  for  by  deaths,  desertion,  and  as  prisoners.  The  total 
losses  of  the  besiegers,  including  those  in  the  open  field,  were 
2,100  men. 

On  the  18th  of  February,  at  10  o'clock  in  the  morning,  the 
powder  magazines  and  mines  were  occupied  by  the  German 
troops  ;  at  12  o'clock  they  took  possession  of  the  gates,  and 
relieved  the  guards ;  about  280  guns  were  captured  in  the 
fortress.  At  2  o'clock  p.m.  there  was  a  triumphal  entry  by  the 
Porte  du  Vallon.  A  short  religious  service  was  held  in  the 
entrenched  camp,  after  which  General  von  Tresckow  II.  called 
for  cheers  for  his  Majesty  the  Emperor,  and  the  allied  German 
princes,  whilst  the  Prussian  flag  was  hoisted  on  the  castle  and 
saluted  with  101  rounds  fired  from  the  captured  guns.  The  town 
itself,  as  well  as  the  suburbs,  had  suffered  severely  from  the 

After  the  fulfilment  of  the  conditions  of  the  treaty  of  peace 
with  France,  Belfort  was  restored  to  the  French. 



The  foregoing  pages  contain  a  short  description  of  the  fortress- 
warfare  in  front  of  those  places,  which,  lying  on  the  north  and 
east  frontier  of  France,  barred  the  march  of  our  armies,  and  show 
how  their  reduction  was  accomplished  by  operations  on  a  more 
or  less  extended  scale.  According  to  the  title  of  the  book  our 
task  would  therefore  be  completed. 

But  it  seems  to  us  desii-able  to  narrate  in  this  appendix  as  a 
sequel,  those  occurrences  which  relate  to  the  conquest  of  some 
small  fortified  places  lying  within  the  zone  of  operations  of  the 
1st  army  (the  citadel  of  Amiens  and  the  small  fortress  Peronne), 
although  neither  a  special  besieging  army  with  the  accompanying 
technical  troops,  nor  regular  siege  artillery  were  employed,  nor 
even  the  special  technical  preparations  for  siege  operations 
undertaken.  We  consider  this  due  to  our  brave  1st  army,  that 
fought  so  well  under  most  difficult  conditions,  and,  on  whose 
operations,  these  fortresses  had  such  an  important  influence.  We 
also  wish  to  add  a  description  of  the  gallant  and  successful  coup- 
de-main  for  the  capture  of  Rocroy. 

Advance  of  the  1st  Army. 

After  the  capitulation  of  Metz,  the  1st  army,  commanded  by 
General  of  cavalry  Freiherr  von  ManteuflTel,  consisted  of  the  corps 
under  Lieut.-General  von  Bentheim,  the  Vlltli  corps  under 
Lieut. -General  von  Zastrow,  and  the  Vlllth  corps  under  Lieut.- 
General  von  Goeben,  the  brigade  of  General  von  Senden,  and  the 
3rd  cavalry  division  under  General  Count  von  der  Groben. 

The  first  task,  a  difficult  one,  that  fell  to  this  army^  was  the 
evacuation  of  Metz,  and  the  transport  to  the  rear  of  150,000 
prisoners,  also  to  hold  Metz ;  to  besiege  Thionville,  Longwy, 
Montmedy,  Mezieres,  and  in  part  Verdun,  for  the  security 
of  our  line  of  communication  with  Paris  and  the  west,  and 
afterwards  to  maintain  these,  whilst  advancing  against  the 
north-west  of  France ;  to  overthrow  the  newly-formed  French 
armies  at  Lille  and  Amiens ;  finally  the  siege  of  La  Fere  had  to 
be  undertaken  as  well.  General  v.  Zastrow,  with  the  Vllth 
corps  and  the  brigade  of  General  v.  Senden  (19th  and  81st 
regiments  of  the  Srd  reserve  division),  had  the  duty  allotted  to 
liim  of  holding  Metz,  and  carrying  on  the  fortress-warfare  on  the 


northern  frontier  of  France,  in  the  manner  that  we  have  already 

Further,  the  troops  before  Verdun  under  General  von  Gayl 
had  to  be  reinforced,  so  that  after  the  detachment  had  left  for 
La  Fere,  and  the  1st  division  had  been  despatched  for  the 
investment  of  Mezieres,  there  remained  for  operations  in  the 
open  field  only  two  incomplete  army  corps  and  the  3rd  cavalry 
division.  On  the  7th  of  November  the  army  began  its  march 
to  the  west  of  France  by  two  roads.  The  1st  corps  by  Briey, 
Spincourt,  Damvillers,  Busency,  Eethel,  Laon,  and  Noyon  ;  the 
Vlllth  corps,  on  the  left,  took  the  road  by  Etain,  Verdun, 
Varennes,  Eeims,  Soissons,  and  Compiegne.  'The  Srd  cavalry 
division,  accompanied  by  infantry  and  artillery,  was  several  days' 
march  in  advance  to  clear  the  Argonne  Forest  of  franc-tireur 
bands.  Afterwards  it  rejoined  the  main  body  and  marched  in 
close  connexion  with  it. 

Just  as  the  army  reached  the  Meuse,  Verdun  capitulated,  and 
a  very  important  road  junction  thus  fell  into  our  hands.  In 
this  forward  movement,  the  army  gave  brilliant  proofs  of  its 
marching  capabilities;  having  in  14  days  accomplished  a  dis- 
tance of  from  33  to  36  miles  (155  to  169  English  miles),  measured 
in  a  straight  line,  or  2|-  (11  f  English  miles)  per  deiy.  As  the 
route  of  the  1st  corps  led  within  from  2  to  4  (9  to  18  English 
miles)  of  the  French  line  of  fortresses,  it  was  necessary,  in  order 
to  cover  the  flank,  that  Montmedy  and  Mezieres  should  be 
observed  or  invested,  in  the  manner  already  described  in  the 
histor}'-  of  the  sieges  of  those  places. 

On  the  20th  of  November,  the  head  of  the  columns  reached  the 
line  of  the  Oise,  the  right  being  at  Noyon  and  the  left  at  Com- 
piegne, and  it  was  at  this  time  that  the  3rd  cavalry  division, 
with  artillery  and  two  jager  battalions  attached,  reported  the 
presence  of  considerable  hostile  forces  at  Amiens  under  General 
Faidherbe,  and  also  at  Rouen.  In  order  to  prevent  the  junction 
of  these  two  French  armies,  the  march  was  continued  on  the 
23rd  of  November  by  Montdidier  and  Noyon,  whilst  at  Le 
Quesnel  and  Mezieres  there  were  small  aflfairswith  the  advanced 

On  the  26th  of  November,  the  Vlllth  corps  ascertained  at 
Thennes,  about  2  miles  (9^  English  miles)  to  the  south-east  of 
Amiens,  that  the  enemy  Avas  prepared  to  offer- resistance  before 
the  latter  town  with  a  strong  force,  and  that  the  necessary 
dispositions  ought  to  be  made  to  give  him  battle  next 
day.  It  should  be  observed  that  whilst  the  Vlllth  corps  was 
up  to  its  full  strength,  the  1st  corps  consisted  of  only  one  (the 
3rd)  infantry  brigade,  one  cavalry  regiment,  and  the  corps 
artillery;  on  the  following  day,  however,  the  1st  division, 
having  been  relieved  before  Mezieres  by  the  detachment  of 
General  v.  Senden,  arrived  in  sufficient  time  to  take  a  part 
with  its  leading  troops  in  the  battle,  the  details  of  which  we 
must  pass  over.     In  consequence  of  the  successful  issue  of  the 

180  ■■ 

engagement  the  outposts  of  the  Vlllth  corps  were  established 
within  I  a  mile  (2^  English  miles)  of  Amiens. 


Amiens  is  a  manufactviring,  industrial,  and  open  to^vn  of 
70,000  inhabitants,  lying  on  the  river  Somme,  navigable  here  for 
small  sea-going  ships,  and  which  flows  through  the  city  in  three 
branches.  The  cathedral,  built  between  the  years  1220  and  1228, 
is  celebrated  as  a  masterpiece  of  pure  and  well-executed  French- 
Gothic  architecture.  To  the  north  of  the  town,  and  on  the  right 
bank  of  the  Somme,  which  is  joined  half  a  league  to  the  east  by 
the  river  Noye,  lies  the  citadel ;  it  was  built  in  the  reign  of 
Henry  the  Fourth,  and  consists  of  five  regular  bastions,  with 
very  high  profiles,  and  the  usual  arrangements.  A  strong 
well  flanked  drawbridge  leads  from  the  citadel  over  the  ditch 
to  a  second  bridge  over  the  Somme,  used  for  the  regular 
traffic  of  the  town.  Between  the  citadel  and  the  town  is  a  sort 
of  esplanade,  so  that  the  nearest  houses  are  about  300  paces 
from  the  former.  The  ground  in  front  of  the  citadel  on  the  right 
bank  of  the  Somme  is  quite  open,  and  swept  by  the  guns  from 
the  fort. 

Amiens  is  the  junction  of  many  important  roads  and  railways ; 
the  latter  go  to  Rouen  and  Boulogne  sur  Mer,  as  well  as  Arras, 
Tergnier,  and  Paris.  On  the  approach  of  the  enemy,  the  bridges 
over  the  Somme  in  the  neighbourhood,  and  also  the  railroads 
for  a  considerable  distance,  had  been  destroyed,  and  the  fortifi- 
cation of  the  town  was  commenced  to  secure  it  from  a  coup-de- 
main.  Some  old  entrenchments  were  restored  for  this  purpose, 
and  armed  with  guns,  whilst  barricades  were  erected  on  the 
roads  leading  to  the  gates.  The  suburbs  de  la  Hauboye,  de 
Beauvais,  and  de  Noyon  were  favourably  placed  for  the  defence 
of  the  city  on  account  of  their  advanced  position  ;  and  also  the 
suburbs  de  la  Maurice  and  St.  Pierre  lying  on  either  side  of  the 
south  front  of  the  citadel.  Further  in  advance,  on  the  south  and 
south-east  of  the  town,  shelter-trenches  had  been  carefully  con- 
structed in  suitable  places  and  gunpits  thrown  up  at  skilfully 
selected  points.  But  the  completion  of  all  these  well-considered 
preparations  for  the  defence  was  prevented  by  the  rapid  course  of 
the  military  operations  in  the  immediate  vicinit}^  of  the  town. 

On  the  morning  of  the  28th  of  November,  the  city  was  occu- 
pied by  the  16th  division,  under  Lieutenant-General  von 
Barneckow,  having  been  evacuated  during  the  night  by  the 
French  garrison,  which  consisted  of  three  brigades ;  the  citadel 
remained  in  possession  of  the  enemy.  Under  these  circum- 
stances, the  commandant.  Captain  Yogel,  an  Alsatian  by  birth, 
was  summoned  to  surrender,  but  he  refused  flatly.  Nothing 
remained  therefore  except  to  capture  it  by  force  of  arms.  For 
this  purpose  some  Prussian  detachments,  led  by  the  mayor  of  the 
town,  occupied  the  houses  opposite  and  nearest  to  the  citadel, 
cutting  ofl"  all  communications  with  the  city,  from  whence  thej"" 
annoyed  the  defenders  on  the  ramparts,  who  replied  with  artil- 


lery  and  musketry  fire.  As 'this  led  to  no  result,  the  citadel  was 
ordered  to  be  bombarded  ou  the  29tli  of  November  by  the  heavy 
batteries  of  the  1st  and  8th  field  artillery  regiments.  The  41st 
regiment  and  two  squadrons  of  the  Lithuanian  dragoons,  both 
under  the  command  of  Lieutenant-Colonel  von  Hiillessen,  of  the 
former,  were  ordered  to  take  part  in  the  expedition.  It  started 
at  9  o'clock  in  the  morning  from  St.  Nicolas,  three  quarters  of  a 
mile  (3^  Enghsh  miles)  south-east  of  Amiens,  with  orders  to 
gain  the  right  bank  of  the  Somme  ;  as  it  was  only  from  that  side 
that  the  citadel  could  be  bombarded  successfully  without  injury  to 
the  town,  which  was  to  be  spared  on  account  of  having  sur- 
rendered unconditionally.  At  the  same  time  Lieutenant-Colonel 
Gregorovins,  of  the  1st  East  Prussian  field  artillery  regiment, 
discovered  a  position  on  the  town  side,  from  whence  he  could 
fire  on  one  front  of  the  citadel.  The  ground  in  front  of  the 
citadel  towards  the  country  was  not  favourable  for  the  bom- 
bardment. There  were  certainly  a  few  elevated  points  at  a 
range  of  from  2,000  to  3,000  paces,  but  the  citadel  could  not  be 
seen  well  from  them,  even  on  the  clearest  days,  and  it  would 
have  been  impossible  to  have  prevented  injury  to  the  town.  The 
difl&culty  of  finding  a  suitable  passage  over  the  Somme,  and  the 
lateness  of  the  hour,  induced  General  von  Manteufiel  to  postpone 
the  bombardment,  to  the  30th  of  November.  Colonel  von 
Kamecke,  commanding  the  8th  artillery  brigade,  who  was 
entrusted  with  the  conduct  of  the  intended  operations,  ordered 
the  batteries  of  the  Vlllth  corps  to  take  position  on  the 
right  bank,  and  those  of  the  1st  corps  to  take  position  on 
the  left  bank  of  the  Somme.  These  imposing  masses  of 
artillery  were  still  on  the  march,  when  the  white  flag  was  seen 
hoisted  on  the  citadel ;  the  batteries,  nevertheless,  took  up 
the  positions  that  had  been  ordered.  They  did  not  open  fire, 
as  the  terms  of  capitulation  were  concluded  by  10  o'clock 
in  the  morning ;  this  was  no  doubt  hastened  in  conse- 
quence of  the  energetic  commandant  having  been  wounded 
on  the  previous  day  in  the  infantry  attack  on  the  citadel ;  his 
successor  soon  found  himself  pi-epared  to  hand  over  the  fortress. 
The  basis  of  the  capitulation  was  that  of  Sedan. 

Before  the  occupation  by  detachments  of  the  44th  regiment,  the 
ofiicers  of  engineers  inspected  the  mines  of  the  place  carefully. 
A  considerable  quantity  of  war  materiel  was  captured,  11  officers 
and  400  men  were  taken  prisoners  and  35  guns  fell  into  our 
hands,  all  smooth-bores  with  the  exception  of  two  Armstrongs. 
The  defences,  that  were  to  have  secured  the  town  against  assault, 
and  whose  construction  had  been  interrupted  by  the  operations 
in  the  field,  were  now  taken  in  hand  by  the  Prussians,  and 
completed,  so  as  to  be  prepared  for  all  eventualities.  On  the 
14th  of  December,  and  a  few  days  before,  the  greater  part  of 
the  German  garrison  quitted  the  town,  partly  to  make  recon- 
naissance at  a  distance  from  Amiens,  partly  to  endeavour  to 
obtain  the  release  of  a  railway  detachment  and  its  covering 
party  of  50  men  that  had  been  surprised  at  Ham  ;  the  citadel 


only  remained  occupied  by  troops.  Although  the  town  of 
Amiens  contributed  the  supplies  and  services  for  the  Prussian 
troops  and  hospitals  with  the  greatest  readiness,  still  in  the 
pecuKar  position  of  affairs,  it  became  necessary  to  announce  by 
proclamation  that  any  act  of  hostility  on  the  part  of  an  inhabi- 
tant, an^^  attack  on  the  citadel  by  French  troops  from  the  town, 
as  well  as  any  occupation  of  the  town  by  hostile  troops,  would 
lead  to  a  bombardment  of  the  city  ;  however,  the  necessity  for 
carrying' out  these  threats  did  not  arise.  The  artillery  of  the 
citadel  had  occasion  later  to  fire  on  some  detachments  of  the 
enemy,  M'ho,  advancing  from  their  positions  on  the  north  of  the 
fortress  had  ventured  within  range  ;  we  merely  relate  this  fact 
as  it  was  the  only  instance  during  the  campaign  in  which  French 
troops  were  fired  upon  from  a  French  fortress. 

P  Yvonne. 

The  forti'ess,  notwithstanding  its  small  area,  belongs  to  the 
first  class,  and  is  one  of  those  that  were  kept  in  a  good  state  of 
defence.  It  lies  in  the  Somme  in  a  marshy  and  unwholesome 
lowland  between  Amiens  and  St.  Quentin,  2^  miles  (11|  Euo-lish 
miles)  east  of  Albert  and  the  same  distance  south-east  of 
Bapaume,  on  the  roads  leading  from  the  latter  place  to  Ham, 
and  from  the  south  to  Cambrai. 

The  fortifications  date  from  diff'erent  periods,  and  have  there- 
fore a  very  irregular  trace  ;  some  of  the  ramparts  are  connected 
with  a  castle  which  appears  to  be  very  ancient  ;  it  is  included 
within  the  works.  The  main  enceinte  is  in  the  form  of  an  lono- 
rectangle,  in  front  of  it  and  to  the  north  lies  the  suburb  of  de 
Bretagne,  to  the  south  the  suburb  of  Paris,  both  defended  by 
crownworks.  The  west  side  of  the  fortress  consists  of  four 
irregular  bastioned  fronts  with  small  ravelins  ;  the  east,  on  the 
other  hand,  consists  of  an  almost  straight  line  of  fortification 
without  a  single  outwork.  On  the  ramparts  of  the  town  are 
four  mediseval  towers,  one  of  which  in  1468  served  as  a  prison 
for  Louis  the  Eleventh  when  he  fell  into  the  hands  of  Charles 
the  Bold,  whilst  at  the  foot  of  another  Charles  the  Simple  died. 
Afterwards  the  town  belonged  to  Burgundy,  but  was  formally 
ceded  to  France  by  Charles  the  Fifth  after  the  peace  of  Madrid 
in  1526.  On  the  26th  of  June  1815,  the  Enghsh  in  their 
advance  on  Paris  stormed  the  place  at  the  first  rush.  The 
fortress  is  surrounded  by  flat-topped  ridges  which  ai'e  useful  for 
artillery  positions  at  long  range. 

The  fortress  in  itself  has  little  strategic  value,  as  it  is  not 
capable  of  a  good  defence  ;  but  its  importance  in  this  war  was 
increased  as  it  threatened  the  movements  of  the  1st  army  in 
rear,  and  blocked  the  railway  communication  of  Amiens  with 
the  French  Northern  Railway  at  Tergnier.  From  these  causes 
its  capture  became  a  matter  of  necessity,  particularly  after  the 
battle  on  the  Hallue,  when  the  eneni}^  again  attempted  to  break 
out  of  his  quadrilateral  of    fortresses.     Lieutenant- General  v. 


Barneckow  received  the  order  to  carry  out  this  with  10  bat- 
talions, some  of  them  very  weak,  and  eight  squadrons  of  his 
own  and  of  the  3rd  reserve  division.  The  guns  available  for 
the  attack  were  36  field  guns  of  the  Vlllth  corps  and  18  guns 
of  the  3rd  reserve  division,  besides  a  small  park  of  12  garrison 
guns  brought  from  the  citadel  of  Amiens.  As,  in  the  course  of 
the  bombardment,  it  became  evident  that  the  artillery  materiel 
was  insufficient,  a  portion  of  the  siege  train  that  had  been 
engaged  before  Mezieres  was  ordered  up,  but  it  never  came  into 
use,  as  the  railway  before  P^ronne  was  blocked  with  traffic. 

The  peculiar  situation  of  the  1st  army  made  special  dis- 
positions necessary,  for  covering  the  siege  of  P^ronne,  in  accor- 
dance with  which  11  battalions,  4  squadrons,  and  24  guns  of  the 
15th  division,  under  the  command  of  Lieutenant-General  von 
Kummer,  were  advanced  towards  Arras ;  on  the  left  at  Bucquoy 
was  Lieutenant-General  Count  von  der  Groben  with  1  bat- 
talion, 12  squadrons,  and  6  guns  ;  on  the  right,  at  Fins,  was 
Lieutenant-General  Prince  Albert  of  Prussia  with  3  battalions, 
12  squadrons,  a.nd  18  guns.  Lieutenant-General  von  Goebenhad 
the  chief  command  over  the  troops  of  the  investment  as  well 
as  of  the  covering  forces. 

After  several  unimportant  skirmishes  with  reconnoitring 
parties  from  Pcronne,  the  fortress  was  blockaded  on  the  27th  of 
December.  It  appeared  that  the  place  could  be  bombarded  best 
from  the  heights  on  the  north,  west,  and  east,  from  which  posi- 
tion there  were  good  objects  for  the  batteries  to  aim  at,  so  as  to 
meet  the  artillery  of  the  place  on  favourable  terms,  without  danger 
of  sufiering  from  its  fire  on  account  of  the  nature  of  the 
ground.  The  'guns  opposite  the  north  front  were  very  well 
placed  for  successful  practice,  as  they  faced  the  long  side  of  the 
fortress.  There  being  no  intention  of  constructing  regular 
batteries  with  approaches,  the  guns  were  placed  so  as  to  take 
advantage  of  natural  cover,  or  they  were  protected  by  epaul- 

On  the  28th  of  December,  the  batteries  on  Mont  St.  Quentin 
and  across  the  roads  leading  over  the  ridge  to  Clery  and  Athies, 
opened  fire,  striking  not  only  the  fortifications,  but  also  the 
town.  The  artillery  of  the  place  was  restricted  to  smooth- 
bores,^ and  therefore  unable  to  cause  much  da-  .^age  to  the  distant 
Prussian  guns.  The  besiegers  only  fired  a^  a  moderate  rate, 
which  in  the  later  period  of  the  bombardment  was  due  to  special 

The  advance  of  the  French  army  from  the  quadrilateral  of 
Arras,  Cambrai,  Valenciennes,  and  Douai,  supported  by  Lille, 
on  the  2nd  of  January  1871,  for  the  relief  of  the  invested  and 
bombarded  fortress,  was  in  connexion  with  the  siege  operations 
which  were  being  successfully  carried  out  against  Pdronne  by  the 
Prussians.  On  the  same  day  the  weak  brigade  of  General  v. 
Strubberg  repulsed  a  division  of  the  enemy  at  Sapignies  on  the 
road  from  Arras  to  Bapaume,  and  took  five  ofiicers  and  250  men 
prisoners,  though  another,  division  forced  back  the  small  Prussian 


detachments  posted  on  the  railroad.  General  von  Kummer 
therefore  concentrated  the  16th  division  at  Bapauine,  where  it 
came  into  serious  collision  on  the  3rd  of  January,  the  result 
causing  General  FaidherLe  to  retreat  behind  his  fortresses 
and  relinquish  all  operations  for  the  relief  of  Peronnc.  The 
enemy  took  the  direction  of  Arras,  followed  by  the  Prussian 
cavalry ;  the  infantry  and  artilleiy  returned  to  Peronne,  as  it 
did  not  seem  advisable  to  renew  the  fighting  on  the  4th  of 
January  with  such  reduced  forces,  and  the  risk  of  a  scarcity  of 
ammunition.  The  battle  interfered  so  far  with  the  bombardment 
of  Peronne  that  the  ammunition  wagons  of  the  batteries  in 
action  before  the  place  were  ordered  into  the  field  to  meet  any 
possible  contingencies  that  might  arise  from  a  scarcity  during 
the  action ;  after  the  enemy  had  been  repulsed,  the  bombardment 
was  continued  with  renewed  vigour. 

On  the  9th  of  January  negotiations  for  a  capitulation  began, 
and  were  concluded  during  the  night  of  the  10th  of  January. 
Various  circumstances  combined  to  force  the  able  and  energetic 
commandant.  Colonel  Gamier,  to  take  such  a  step  ;  probably  the 
most  important  one  was  the  repulse  of  the  relieving  army  after 
it  had  advanced  Vvdthin  five  leagues  of  the  place.  The  injury 
done  to  the  town  by  the  Prussian  batteries  was  very  considerable  ; 
more  than  50  houses  Avere  in  ruins,  the  church  and  hospital  had 
become  a  prey  to  the  flames.  Forty-seven  garrison  guns,  and  a 
quantity  of  war  materiel  of  every  kind  were  captured,  and  the 
garrison  of  3,000  men,  consisting  of  750  of  the  4ord  regiment, 
and  150  marines,  besides  moblots  and  mobiles  of  the  Somme 
and  Pas  de  Calais,  became  prisoners  of  war. 

The  repairs  to  the  fortifications  were  immediately  taken  in 
hand,  and  the  fortress  carefully  secured  against  a  coup-de-main, 
and  occupied  by  a  sufticient  garrison. 

With  the  capture  of  Peronne  the  whole  line  of  the  Somme 
came  into  possession  of  the  German  army,  and  became  an  im- 
portant point  of  support  in  their  later  operations.  It  may  be 
taken  for  granted  that  in  future  wars  the  value  of  Peronne  will 
be  as  great  as  in  the  present,  and  that  the  French  Government 
will  probably  have  the  old-fashioned  fortifications  extended  and 


i  Rocroy. 

The  small  fortress  of  Rocroy,  situated  close  to  the  Belgian 
frontier,  lies  at  the  junction  of  the  roads  leading  by  Givet  and 
Charlemont  to  Belgium  on  the  north,  and  to  Rethel  on  the 
south  ;  it  is  situated  on  a  hilly  plateau  in  the  forest  of  the 
Ardennes  1,000  feet  high,  about  19  miles  north-west  of  Mezieres. 
The  town  was  built  in  the  middle  of  the  forest  by  Francis  the 
First  to  protect  the  frontier  of  Champagne;  in  1643  it  was 
besieged  by  the  Spanish  troops  from  the  low  countries,  and  in 
1815  it  was  captured  after  a  short  investment  by  the  Prussians 
under  Prince  Augustus. 

3S996.  Q 


The  fortifications,  which  are  simple,  consist  of  a  bastioned  trace 
of  five  sides  with  dry  ditches  arranged  in  their  essential  points 
on  the  principles  of  Vauban.  As  the  works  have  a  high  profile, 
the  masonry  could  be  seen  and  destroyed  from  a  distance.  To 
prevent  this,  the  ramparts  are  surrounded  by  a  screen,  which  in 
front  of  the  salients  of  the  west  bastions,  takes  the  form  of  a 
ravelin  or  lunette,  advanced  into  the  glacis,  and  brings  a  cross 
and  grazing  fire  on  to  the  ground  in  front.  The  separate  works 
are  very  well  defiladed,  both  vertically  and  horizontally.  The 
east  and  west  fronts  have  each  a  gate  with  the  usual  defences. 
With  the  exception  of  the  two  principal  powder  magazines  there 
are  no  bombproofs  for  barracks,  hospital,  or  magazines.  The 
armament  had  been  completed  during  the  war  to  the  necessary 
extent;  nearly  all  the  works  had  been  provided  with  expense 
magazines,  and  all  other  requirements  for  an  artillery  defence. 
There  are  no  large  outworks,  but  two  small  earthworks  in  the 
form  of  fleches  have  been  constructed  in  advance  of,  and  con- 
nected with  the  fortress  in  order  to  command  the  road  coming 
from  Paris  by  Eethel  and  Mdzieres,  and  also  that  from  Givet. 
The  immediate  neighbourhood  affords  favourable  and  elevated 
positions  for  gun  emplacements,  although  the  ground  is  much 

The  14th  division  had  successfully  accomplished  its  task  by 
the  capture  of  the  fortresses  of  Thionville,  Montmedy,  Mezieres, 
and  Longwy  on  the  northern  frontier  of  France,  and  there  was 
no  intention  on  the  part  of  the  German  commanders,  of  con- 
tinuing the  warfare  against  the  places  lying  further  to  the 
westward ;  a  prolongation  of  the  fortress-war  would  have 
entailed  a  great  sacrifice  of  time  and  materiel,  so  that  it  was 
abandoned  for  this  as  well  as  other  reasons.  The  division 
received  orders  to  rejoin  the  Vllth  corps,  and  to  proceed  by  rail 
to  the  south,  where  General  von  Werder  required  a  reinforce- 
ment for  his  undertakino's  against  General  Bourbaki.  A  few 
days  rest  were  given  to  the  division  after  the  fall  of  Mdzieres 
for  concentration  and  the  completion  of  certain  arrangements. 
If  anything,  therefore,  was  to  be  undertaken  against  their 
inconvenient  neighbour,  the  fortress  of  Rocroy,  no  time  could  be 
lost.  It  should  be  remarked,  that,  although  there  could  be  no 
doubt  about  the  result  of  a  blockade  or  bombardment  of  the 
place,  still  the  loss  of  time  and  materiel  w^ould  have  been  dis- 
proportionate to  the  value  of  the  fortress.  It  was  resolved, 
therefore,  at  once  to  try  and  take  the  town  by  a  coup-de-main, 
that  is  to  say,  to  attack  it  unexpectedly ;  and  this  method  was 
adopted  because  the  profiles  of  the  work  made  the  risk  of  an 
assault  too  hazardous.  After  the  fall  of  Mezieres  the  enemy 
quite  expected  that  an  attack  on  Rocroy  would  follow ;  a  bom- 
bardment seemed  inevitable,  but  the  roads  being  bad,  it  was 
thought  that  the  difficulties  of  transporting  the  siege  guns  \Yould 
occupy  some  time. 

Mezieres  capitulated  on  the  2nd  of  Januar^^  1871,  and  on  the 
4th  a  detachment  of  5  battalions,  2   squadrons  of  hussars  and 


6  field  batteries  and  a  company  of  pioneers  was,  by  order  of 
General  Schuler  von  Senden,  commanding  the  14th  division, 
put  in  motion  for  Rocroy.  The  expedition  was  under  the  com- 
mand of  Major-General  von  Woyna  II.,  and  arrived  before  the 
place  on  the  evening  of  the  same  day.  The  early  twihght  pre- 
vented reconnoitring  in  front  of  the  fortress,  and  the  garrison 
were  completely  surprised  by  the  unexpected  appearance  of  the 
enemy  before  the  gates,  which  was  a  proof  of  the  energy  and 
precision  with  which  the  operation  was  carried  out.  As  soon 
as  the  cavalry  had  cut  off  all  communication  between  the  fortress 
and  the  country,  the  troops  took  up  their  position  on  the  invest- 
ing circle,  partly  to  prevent  the  garrison  from  breaking  out,  and 
partly  to  cover  the  ground  from  whence  the  bombardment  was 
to  follow.  When  everything  was  prepared,  at  10  o'clock  on  the 
morning  of;. the  5th  of  January,  the  commandant  was  called 
upon  to  surrender,  which  he  refused.  At  half-past  10  o'clock  fire 
was  opened.  A  thick  fog  interrupted  the  view,  but  flames  were 
seen  to  break  out  in  the  town  and  the  bombardment  was  con- 
tiDued  until  5  o'clock  in  the  afternoon.  The  artillery  of  the 
gamson  was  not  idle  ;  it  ^replied  vigorously,  but  Avithout  much 
effect,  as  the  Prussian  batteries  were  screened  either  by  natural 
cover  or  hasty  entrenchments.  It  was  already  in  contemplation 
to  give  an  order  to  cease  firing  and  assemble  the  troops,  when 
another  attempt  was  made  to  induce  the  commandant  to  sur- 
render, by  pointing  out  to  him  the  uselessness  of  protracting 
the  defence,  which,  as  was  found  out  afterwards,  the  gardes 
mobiles  were  anxious  to  continue. 

On  the  evening  of  the  5th  of  January,  tlie  place  was  handed 
over,  the  gates  being  first  occupied  by  two  companies.  The 
garrison  consisted  of  about  160  gardes  mobiles  and  120  men  of 
the  artillery  of  the  line  and  engineers,  who  had  shown  them- 
selves particularly  active  in  the  defence ;  800  of  the  garrison 
became  prisoners  of  war ;  one  stand  of  colours,  some  arms,  pro- 
visions, and  munitions  of  war,  as  well  as  72  heavy  guns,  were 
captured.  Among  the  prisoners  were  two  Prussians  who  had 
been  detained  as  spies.  The  exertions  made  by  the  troops 
engaged  against  Rocroy  should  not  be  passed  over  without 
notice ;  they  were  on  their  legs  for  80  hours,  notwithstanding 
the  extreme  cold,  combined  with  fog  and  snowstorms. 



The  following  fortresses  fell  during  the  war,  thanks  to  the 
energy  of  our  highly  trained  siege  artillery  in  co-operation  with 
the  other  branches  of  our  army. 

(1.)  "Without  defence  :  Liitzelstein  and  Montbeliard. 

(2.)  After  immediate  capitulation  :   Vitry,  Laon. 

(3.)  After  the  first  bombardment :  Lichtenberg,  Marsal,  and 

the  citadel  of  Amiens. 
(4.)  As  the  immediate  consequence  of  the  loss  of  a  battle  in 

the  field  :  Sedan,  with  the  army  of  MacMahon. 
(5.)  After  a  long  investment  :  Metz,  with  the  army  of  Marshal 

(6.)  After   a  long  investment  and  bomdardment :  Pfalzburg 

and  Paris,  with  its  enclosed  army. 
(7.)  After   repeated  bombardments  of  several  days'  duration 

with   siege   and   field    artillery :    Toul,    Neu-Breisach, 

Soissons,  Verdun,  La  Fere,  Montmedy,  Mezieres,   and 

(8.)  After  a  bombardment  of  several  days  with  the  opening  of 

a  regular  siege :  Schlettstadt,  Thionville,  and  Long^Yy. 
(9.)  After  a  bombardment  of  several  weeks  and  the  completion 

of  the  regular  siege,  with  the  exception  of  the  passage 

of  the  ditch  and  the  storming  of  the  breach  or  interior 

retrenchments  :  Strasburg  and  Belfort. 

Bitsch  was  not  surrendered  until  the  conclusion  of  the  peace, 
after  it  had  been  invested  during  the  whole  of  the  war,  and 
bombarded  at  the  commencement. 

Rocroy  fell  by  a  coup-de-main  after  a  bombardinent  -sv^ith  field 

The  garrisons  of  Belfort  and  Bitsch  were  allowed  to  leave  with 
military  honours  in  recognition  of  their  gallant  defence. 

Besides  the  enormous  amount  of  war  materiel  taken  from  the 
beaten  and  captured  armies,  and  the  materiel,  arms,  and  ammu- 
nition, as  well  as  barrack,  magazine,  and  hospital  stores,  found  in 
the  fortresses,  5,300  garrison  guns,  most  of  them  smooth-bore 
and  some  of  which  were  damaged,  fell  into  our  hands,  while 
1,400  officers  and  54,700  men,  who  had  formed  the  garrison  of 
the  towns,  were  led  into  captivity. 


Printed  by  George  E.  Eyre  and  "William  Spottis-woode, 

Printers  to  the  Queen's  most  Excellent  Majesty. 

For  Her  Majesty's  Stationery  Office. 

[7702.— 500.— 10/77.] 


Part  I. 



By   captain    HOME. 


Printed  ttndpr  the  Supeiiideudence  of  Her  Mojesty^s  Slalioneri/  Office, 

AND    SOLD    BY 

W.  CLOWES  &  SONS,  13,  Cliarinp;  Cross;  HARRISON  &  SONS,  59,  Pall  Mall: 

W.  H.  ALLEN  &  Co..  L3,  Waterloo  Place ;  W.  MITCHELL.  Charing  Cross ; 

LONGMAN  k  Co..  and  TEUBNER  A-  Co.,  Paternoster  R,iw;  and 

HENRY  S.  KING  c^-  Co .  6.\  Cornhill  : 

Also  hif 

A.  k  C.  BLATK.  Kiiinblugh:    P.  ROBERTSON.  90.  St.  Vincent  Street.  Gi.asooav 

ALEX.  TIIOM.  Abbey  Street,  and  E.  PONSONRV,  (xnafton  Street.  DiBr-tx. 

Pricf  Rifili Ipp ■ipPiiee. 

[H.  &  S.— P 1952—500—11  1  72.] 


When  a  great  Military  nation  pulls  down  her  Military  Institu- 
tions and  builds  them  up  again  on  a  new  foundation,  the  changes 
that  she  makes,  and  the  causes  of  those  changes,  are  lioth  interest- 
ing and  instructive. 

The  reforms  that  are  taking  place  in  the  French  Army  are 
so  great,  and  the  circumstances  under  which  they  are  made  so 
peculiar,  that  much  interest  attaches  to  them. 

The  Committee  that  has  been  appointed  to  prepare  Bills  for 
this  purpose  has  divided  the  subject  into  two  portions : — 
1st.    The  Law  on  Recruiting; 
.■^nd.  The  Law  on  Organization. 

The  former  alone  has  been  brought  before  and  passed  the 
National  Assembly,  and  a  translation  of  the  Law,  with  the  Com- 
mittee's Report,  is  herewith  given. 

It  is  proposed  to  give  a  similar  translation  of  the  Law  on 
Organization,  and  some  account  of  the  new  French  Military 
Administration,  so  soon  as  the  Committee  has  reported  and  the 
Assembly  approved  of  the  Report. 

These  translations  will  form  Parts  IT.  and  III.  of  the  series  of 
which  this  is  Part  I. 



By  the  Marquis  Ciiasseloup  Laubat,  Member  of  the  National 




Chapter  I. 


Great  disasters  carry  v.-itli  them  much  instruction.  It  is 
wise  to  understand  them  ;  it  is  courageous  to  profit  by  them. 
Far,  then,  from  allowing  itself  to  be  cast  down  by  its  misfortunes, 
a  nation  which  refuses  to  fall,  studies  the  causes  of  its  defeat, 
reforms  everything  that  enfeebles  it,  must  finally  raise  itself, 
even  greater,  after  those  trials  which  Providence  inflicts  on  nations 
as  on  individuals,  the  better  to  point  out  their  duties,  and  elevate 
to  a  higher  place  those  who  can  support  trial. 

This,  gentlemen,  is  what  you  wish — this  is  what  we  liope 
France  will  do. 

For  this  reason  you  daily  seek  out  everything  that  from  its 
nature  may  enervate  the  country.  Y^ou  seek  to  excite  its  energy, 
and  you  do  not  despair  to  see  her  at  the  cost  of  some  efforts, 
some  sacrifices,  preserve  her  place  in  the  world. 

*  This  Committee  is  composed  of  MM.  de  Lasteyrie,  President ;  General  Baron 
Obahaud-la-Tour,  Admiral  Montaiguac,  Vice-Presidents  ;  Bet hmont,  diaper,  Colonel 
Carron,  and  Iho  Marquis  de  ilornay,  Secretaries  ;  Tlie  Marquis  de  la  Kochetliulon. 
d'Aboville,  de  Combarien,  General  Billot,  Admiral  Dompierre  d'Hornoy,  Cornelis  de 
Witt,  General  Loysel,  General  Ticlor  Pellissier,  General  Duerot,  the  Marquis  de 
Vorgue,  Admiral  La  Ronciere  Le  Xoury,  Daliirol,  de  Carayon-Latour,  tlie  Duke  de 
Crussol,  General  Martin  des  Pa'lieres,  Colonel  de  Chadois,  Admiral  Saissct,  General 
Frebault,  Fresneau,  Aelocque,  IMarquis  d'Audelarre,  Passy,  Baron  Vast  Vimcux,. 
Audren  de  Kerdrel,  Flye-Sainte  Marie,  Yarroy,  the  Marquis  do  Chaiseloup  Laubat, 
Geneial  Chanzy,  Sarrette,  Baron  de  Barante,'  de  Balleroy,  General  Trochu,  Brun 
(Var),  the  Duke  d'llarcourt,  Cjunt  Octave  do  Bastard,  Bouisson,  General  Charel»u 
de  Meice. 

(489w©)  B 

AVith  this  vicvr',  you  resolved  that  one  of  your  Committees 
should  report  on  the  laws  relating  to  the  recruiting  and  organization 
of  both  the  army  and  navy. 

This  Committee  your  officers  have  selected  to  represent  all 
shades  of  opinion  in  the  Assem.bly,  justly  persuaded  that  all  the 
men  who  compose  the  Assembly,  no  mutter  whence  they  come, 
or  what  may  be  their  antecedents,  will  bring  to  such  a  task,  but 
one  feeling,  that  of  devotion  to  their  common  country. 

We  then,  in  the  name  of  that  Committee,  propose  to  report 
on  a  portion  of  the  task  entrusted  to  us. 

According  to  your  instructions  this  task  embraces  ])oth  the 
recruiting  and  organization  of  the  army. 

The  law  under  which  the  army  is  recruited  l)elongs  as  much  to 
civil  as  to  mihtary  law,  it  is  addressed  to  the  entire  population, 
it  details  the  duties  devolving  on  it,  for  the  defence  and  security  of 
the  country,  and  has  great  influence  on  its  chief  interests,  the 
development  of  agriculture,  commerce  and  industry ;  the  progress 
of  arts  and  sciences,  the  good  order  of  its  finances. 

The  organization  is  entirely  a  military  law,  which,  in  addition 
to  the  composition  and  administration  of  the  various  corps,  deter- 
mines the  conditions  under  wliich  officers  are  promoted,  their 
status,  and  regulates  the  strength  of  the  general  staff. 

At  present  we  propose  to  deal  only  with  the  recruiting  of  the 
army,  on  it  is  based  the  constitution  of  the  array,  and  it  con- 
sequently must  fill  the  chief  place  in  our  miUtary  institutions. 

We  do  not  seek  now  to  discuss  portion  of  our  defeats  are 
due  to  the  faults  of  existing  institutions. 

We  have  first  to  ask  ourselves  if  the  method  of  recruiting  the 
army  w'hich  has  hitherto  prevailed  in  France,  is  in  consonance  witli 
the  situation  of  the  country  as  regards  Europe,  and  with  the  ideas 
of  the  people  ? 

Doubtless,  the  law  of  recruiting,  as  it  at  present  stands,  has 
given  us  gallant  armies,  and  even  latterly  in  the  midst  of  our 
■  reverses,  when  our  soldiers  although  under  unfavourable  circum- 
stances were  able  to  come  to  close  quarters,  they  have  shown  no 
degeneracy,  and  that  tliey  are  still,  as  in  Algiers,  the  Crimea,  and  at 
Magenta,  the  worthy  descendants  of  those  who  fought  at  Fontenoy, 
Fleurus  and  Jena.  It  would  be  unjust,  ungrateful  not  to  loudly 
proclaim  this  fact. 

But,  gentlemen,  in  order  that  a  law  for  recruiting  the  army 
should  give  what  the  exigencies  of  modern  war  demand,  it  is  not 
sufficient  that  the  soldiers  sent  under  the  colours  should  show 
bravery  and  self-denial,  it  must  also  inspire  the  whole  population 
with  an  elevated  feeling  of  duty,  and  when  the  defence  of  the 
country  is  at  stake  a  fraction  of  the  citizens  must  not  be  left  in  a 
state  of  apathy;  above  all,  the  requisite  number  of  defenders  must 
be  forthcoming. 

Let  us  examine  if  this  has  been  the  case,  but  before  doing  so 
let  us  briefly  review  the  past. 



Without  going  back  to  that  period  in  our  own  history  when  to 
fight  was  a  privilege,  it  may  be  remembered  that  under  the  ancient 
monarcliy,  and  more  especially  under  Louis  XIV,  the  army  was 
recruited  by  voluntary  enlistment  by  the  captains  of  companies 
aiKl  the  colonels  of  regiments,  who  gave  for  this  purpose  commis- 
sions to  subordinate  officers,  termed  racoleurs  ("  bringers^'),  paid 
in  proportion  to  the  number  of  men  they  brought. 

But  in  a  short  time  the  inadequacy  of  this  method  of  filling  up 
the  gaps  in  the  army  was  recognized,  and  a  subsiduary  means  of  re- 
cruiting was  adopted  by  calling  out  the  provincial  militia;  each  village 
having  tofurnish  a  contingentfullyequipped  foraservice  of  twoyears. 

Selected  originally  by  the  inhabitants  of  the  parish — these 
militiamen  were  subsequently  drawn  by  lot. 

Ycu  are  aware  that  during  the  wars  of  the  Hevolution  our 
armies  were  formed  as  follows  : — 

First  by  the  enlistment  of  men  who,  moved  by  patriotic  feelings, 
volunteered  for  that  purpose. 

Next  by  levies  to  compose  new  battalions  called  to  arms  by 
t!ie  words  the  "  country  is  in  danger." 

Then  by  calling  on  300,000  National  Guards  from  18  to 
40  years  of  age,  men  not  married,  or  widowers  witliout  children. 

Finally,  by  a  levy  en  masse  until  the  enemy  had  been  expelled 
from  the  territory  of  the  Republic. 

If  by  these  means  an  army  of  400,000  men  was  formed  and 
tlie  foreigner  by  a  sublime  effort  finally  driven  out,  assuredly  the 
victory  v/as  due  not  to  our  military  institutions,  as  once,  order  and 
liberty  returned  the  necessity  of  organizing  a  regular  and  permanent 
recruiting  was  recognized.  Voluntary  enlistment  did  not  suffice, 
and  enlistment  for  money  could  not  fill  the  voids. 

The  Conscription  was  then  established ;  the  Conscription  we 
should  remind  you  had  been  proposed  to  the  constituent  Assembly  in 
IJSO,  but  had  been  rejected  as  at  variance  with  the  liberty  of  the 

General  Jourdan  had  the  honour,  in  the  year  VI,  to  propose 
and  carry  through  the  law,  which  is  the  point  of  depai'ture  of  all 
our  legislative  enactments  on  this  subject.  By  this  law  all  young 
meii  from  20  to  25  years  of  age  were  divided  into  five  classes. 

The  conscripts  comprised  in  ail  five  classes  ircre  attached  to  the 
various  corps  compusiny  the  Ar)ny;  they  ivere  enrolled  by  name,  and 
no  substitution  ivas  allowed. 

They  could  not,  however,  be  sent  on  active  service  without  a 
special  law;  the  youngest  in  each  class  being  then  summoned  first 
to  join  the  colours. 

Compulsory  personal  service  was  at  that  time  the  rule  for  all ; 
all  might  be  called  on  during  five  years,  after  which  they  were 
absolutely  free  in  time  of  peace,  but  were,  in  time  of  war  liable  to 
be  called  on,  according  to  circumstances.  The  conditions  requisite 
to  fuitil,  to  become  an  officer,  were  also  laid  down  by  this  law. 
Grc:;t  aiid  fertile   principles  were  enunciated  bv  it,  which  have, 

B  2 

nevertheless,  been  much  abused,  but  which  remain  the  greatest 
legislative  enactment  of  that  period^  and  which  gave  France 
power  to  struggle  against  all  Europe. 

Notwithstanding  the  formal  declaration  in  the  year  VT,  that  sub- 
stitutes were  not  allowed,  it  must  l)e  acknowledged  that  from  the 
year  VII,  the  princiijle  of  substitution  re-appeared.  It  is  to  be  found 
in  the  law  of  the  28  Germinal,  and  since  then  has  found  a  place 
in  all  laws,  notably  in  those  of  the  years  VIII  and  XIII,  which 
introduced  the  drawing  of  lots  to  determine  which  young  men  of 
each  class  should  be  first  enrolled  with  the  colours.  Some  of 
these  laws,  however,  placed  substitution  under  certain  restrictions  ; 
thus  it  was  allowed  only  in  favour  of  those  who  ivere  deemed  unfitted 
to  sustain  the  fatigues  of  war,  and  of  those  who,  by  continuing  their 
studies,  were  deemed  more  useful  to  the  State.  It  also  entailed  cer- 
tain responsibilities,  and  necessitated  the  payment  of  a  sum  of 

In  any  case,  conscription,  that  is  to  say,  an  obligation  to  serve 
imposed  on  all  young  men  capable  of  bearing  arms,  in  each  class, 
existed  from  the  year  VI  vintil  1814.  And  if  substitution  ex- 
isted during  that  time,  it  was  bv  no  means  fi-ee.  It  is  also  known  that 
the  anticipation  of  the  various  classes  gave  rise  to  great  exhaustion 
during  the  last  years  of  the  empire.  And  it  may  be  recollected 
with  what  favour  the  Act  by  which  the  Restoration  abolishedthe 
conscription  was  received. 

Subsequently  to  the  events  of  1815,  when  the  armies  were 
disbanded,  an  attempt  was  made  to  unite  their  debris,  so  as  to 
preserve  some  troops  for  the  country.  Departmental  legions, 
which  took  the  name  of  the  department  where  thev  were  formed, 
were  created.  Discharged  soldiers  were  induced  to  re-engage,  it 
being  considered  that  they  were  not  entirely  free  from  military 
service;  others  voluntarily  enlisted. 

Each  legion  being  recruited  in  the  department  where  it  was 
formed, — the  conscription  being  abolished, — no  means  of  filling 
gaps  but  bv  voluntary  enlistment  were  provided. 

The  inefficiency  of  such  enlistment  soon  showed  itself,  and 
when  after  some  years'  trial,  it  became  requisite  seriouslv  to 
re- organize  tiie  military  forces  of  France,  it  became  also  requisite 
to  return  to  some  regular  and  certain  means  of  obtaining  recruits. 

An  illustrious  General  and  wiiter,  Marshal  Gouvion  Saint  Cyr^ 
as  minister,  had  the  courage,  unfortunatelv  very  rare,  to  resist 
the  party  in  power,  proj^  1818,  the  law  known  by  his  name. 

This  law  organized  recruiting  in  the  spirit  in  which  it  lias 
subsequently  been  conducted.  It  fixed  the  strength  of  the  contin- 
gent to  be  embodied  each  year  at  40,000;  it  divided  that  number 
amongst  the  various  departments  ;  it  fixed  the  method  of  counting 
the  young  men  of  each  class  ;  established  a  system  for  drawing  lots, 
to  determine  the  individuals  to  be  furnished  by  each  canton,  and 
fixed  the  length  of  service  at  six  vears. 

And,  with  the  object  vi  having  a  reserve  which  could  feed 
the  army,  the  law  directed  that  non-commissioned  officers  and 
men  sent  home  on   completion  of  their  period  of  service  should. 

in  case    of    \vai%   under    the  name    of    veterans,    perform    home 
service,  the  duration  of  which  was  also  htuited  to  six  years. 

In  tirre  of  peace  no  miUtary  service  was  asked  from  these 
veterans,  and  in  time  of  war,  except  under  the  authority  of  a 
■special  enactment,  they  could  not,  be  called  on  to  quit  their 
military  division. 

But  while  this  law  sent  into  the  army  all  the  young  men  that 
the  ballot  designated  as  forming  a  portion  of  the  contingent,  It, 
with  the  object  of  tempering  the  severity  of  military  service, 
admitted  exemptions  and  dispensations. 

These  exemptions  were  based  on  infirmities,  want  of  height, 
and  upon  particular  circumstances,  which  showed  that  the  indi- 
viduals to  which  they  were  applied  could  not  leave  their  families 
without  doing  them  an  irreparable  injury. 

The  dispensations  were  particularlv  for  those  men  who 
benefitted  the  State  by  continuing  their  studies  before  beginning 
a  useful  career. 

There  was  this  difference  between  exemption  and  dispensation, 
that  the  young  men  who  were  exempted  did  not  diminsh  the 
number  of  the  contingent,  their  places  being  taken  by  others  in 
the  order  of  the  lots.  The  young  men  who  obtained  dispensations 
were,  on  the  contrary,  deducted  from  the  number  of  the  contingent, 
in  certain  cases  the  dispensation  was  only  provisional,  being  condi- 
tional on  the  youth  following  the  career  for  which  he  was  studying, 
and  for  which  he  obtained  a  dispensation. 

This  law  authorized  substitutes,  and  also  an  exchange  of 
lots  amongst  young  men  who  had  been  drawn. 

With  the  object  of  forming  the  cadres  of  the  army,  the  law  of 
1818  required  that  candidates  for  the  post  of  officer  should  fulfil 
certain  conditions,  serve  a  fixed  period  in  each  grade  before 
promotion,  and  reserved  one-third  of  the  vacancies  amongst  the 
sub-lieutenants  for  deserving  non-commissioned  officers,  and  fixed 
that  two-thirds  of  the  j>romotions  to  the  ranks  of  lieutenant, 
captain,  and  major  should  be  by  seniority. 

This  was,  as  you  see,  a  law  both  for  the  organization  and 
recruiting  of  the  army,  and  also  for  the  promotion  of  the  officers, 
and  that  too,  at  a  moment  when  France  invaded,  was  stiii 
occupied  by  foreign  armies. 

Face  to  face  with  such  painful  events,  gentlemen,  the  words 
security,  and  independence  of  territory,  have  more  significance  than 
at  other  periods.  Minds  do  not  then  run  riot  on  absurd  theories, 
of  universal  peace,  or  on  the  resiscless  power  of  masses  of  men,  and 
armaments  hastily  im]')rovised. 

Then  the  ideas  of  thoughtful  men  are  no  longer  regarded  as 
chimeras,  but  everything  that  can  preserve  the  greatness  of  the 
country  is  gladly  accepted. 

It  must  be  added  that  the  law  of  1818  was  not  a  conscription 
proper  ;  conscription  compelled  all  young  men  of  ong  class  to 
serve,  and  used  the  ballot  only  to  determine  the  order  in  which  they 
should  be  enrolled. 

Recruiting  as  fixed  by  the  law  of  1818,  applied  only  to  the 


contingent,  whicli  was  divided  amongst  il.c  departn:ents,  and 
young  men  not  selected  by  lot  were  completely  free  from  military 
service:  no  future  demands  could  be  made  on  them.  This 
explains  how,  from  the  outset,  this  law  was  so  easily  adopted,  and 
never  produced  tlie  complaints  consequent  on  the  conscription. 

However,  the  departmental  legions,  with  which  the  law  of  1818 
did  not  interfere,  failed  to  produce  the  advantages  expected  from 
them.  The  fact  that  it  was  requisite  to  take  for  each  legion  men 
of  the  department  in  which  it  was  raised  produced  difficulties 
of  many  kinds.  This  method  of  recruiting  also  caused  great 
differences  in  the  value  of  the  various  portions  of  the  army,  and, 
consequently,  interfered  greatly  with  its  homogeneity.  Conse- 
quently, in  1820,  the  94  departmental  legions  were  converted 
into  80  regiments  of  the  line  and  light  infantry,  recruiting  for 
which  was  carried  out  generally  throughout  France. 

Finally,  and  we  beg  to  direct  attention  to  this  fact,  as  dealing 
with  the  important  question  of  reserves,  the  veterans  on  furlovxgh, 
after  six  years'  service  in  the  regular  army,  do  not  appear  to  have 
been  as  useful  as  was  anticipated ;  it  was  therefore  considered 
preferable — 

1st.  To  raise  the  contingent  from  40,000  to  60,000  men, 
one  portion  of  which  would  not  be  enrolled,  but  remain 
at  the  disposal  of  the  State. 

2nd.  To  fix  the  length  of  service  at  eight  years  in  place  of 
six,  and  free  all  the  men  sent  home  from  further  service. 

This  was  the  law  of  the  9th  June,  1824.  The  contingent  of 
60,000  men,  you  will  observe,  was  then  estal)lished,  as  the  con- 
tingent of  40,000  had  been  in  1818,  and  the  Government  had 
power  to  deal  with  it  without  reference  to  the  Chambers,  except 
inasmuch  as  it  had  to  seek  grants  of  money.  This  power  remained 
until  1830;  then  it  was  decided,  as  a  principle  of  parliamentary 
government,  that  the  strength  of  the  contingent  to  be  enrolled 
each  year,  both  for  the  army  and  navy,  must  be  fixed  each  session. 

The  system  of  reserve,  organized  in  1818,  was  thus  abandoned, 
and  the  system  of  having  a  contingent  larger  than  could  be 
possibly  enrolled  was  adopted,  a  certain  portion  of  the  contingent 
being  sent  on  furlough,  subject  to  recall  when  required. 

This  was  in  accordance  with  the  views  of  Marshal  Soult,  when, 
in  1832,  he  considered  it  desirable  to  alter  some  of  the  arrange- 
ments of  the  law  of  1818. 

The  law  of  the  21st  March,  which,  in  addition  to  the  measures 
we  have  here  described,  maintained  the  recruiting  as  established  in 
1818,  laid  down  the  principle  of  the  division  of  the  contingent  into 
two  portions,  both  placed  at  the  disposal  of  the  Government,  in 
the  following  words  : — 

"The  army  is  composed  of  two  portions,  the  propoi'tions  of 

"  which  are  fixed  by  the  annual  estimates,  viz. : — 
"  1st.  The  effective  strength  with  the  colours. 
"  2nd.  Men  left  on  leave  or  sent  home  on  furlousrh.^' 

These  men  remained  under  military  autliority  for  seven,  years, 
the  period  fixed  by  the  law,  and  could  at  any  time  be  incorporated 
with  the  army,  it  being  believed  that  this  system  gave  a  reserve 
at  the  disposal  of  the  Government  to  meet  all  eventualities. 

At  that  period,  movements  of  troops  were  not  rapid,  and  they 
could  not  be  quickly  united  into  great  armies,  it  was  consequently 
believed  tbat  there  would  always  be  a  certain  time  available  to 
train  the  men  ;  and  it  was  hoped  that  at  the  moment  of  war,  when 
the  young  men  who  bad  not  served  were  called  under  the  colours, 
they  would  come  forward  with  more  alacrity  than  those  who 
already  knew  the  monotony  of  barracks  and  the  drav»' backs  of  the 

This,  then,  was  the  system  which  has  prevailed  in  later  years 
(it  is  desirable  to  bear  it  in  mind), — a  reserve  of  men  left  at  home 
— a  reserve  sometimes  more  considerable,  you  will  see  shortly, 
than  the  portion  of  the  contingent  actually  enrolled. 

From  this  time,  the  annual  estimates  regularly  fixed  the  nmnber 
of  the  contingent  at  80,000  men;  lastly,  the  law  of  1832  allowed 

But,  gentlemen,  as  luxury  spread  in  France,  and  ne^v  pursuits 
were  opened  up  for  young  men,  they  seemed  less  ambitious  of 
following  the  profession  of  arms ;  the  number  of  substitutes  in- 
creased, and  the  means  employed  to  obtain  them  occupied  public 
attention,  and,  m(jre  than  once,  motions  on  this  subject  were 
inti'oduced  into  the  Chambers. 

There  were  in  short,  both  in  the  army  and  in  the  country, 
symptoms  ^A■hich  could  not  be  ignored.  In  1841  and  1843, 
various  proposals  were  made  to  apply  a  remedy  to  the  acknow- 
ledged evil.  In  1849,  proposals  were  made  by  General 
Lamoriciere,  with  the  object  of  enabling  old  soldiers  to  profit  by 
the  money  paid  for  substitutes. 

But  these  proposals  fell  to  the  ground;  and,  in  1855,  the  law 
of  the  dotation  of  the  army  put  an  end  to  substitution.  But  in  doing 
so,  it  most  unfortunately  introduced  a  system  which  almost 
entirely  did  away  with  personal  service;  for  if,  since  the  yearVII, 
substitution  was  allowed,  the  State  was  no  party  to  it.  The 
young  man  called  to  serve  under  the  colours  had  to  serve,  or 
bring  a  man  in  his  place,  so  that  personal  service  was  performed 
either  by  the  individual  or  his  substitute,  as  directed  by  the  laws 
of  the  years  VII  and  Vlll,  the  law  of  1855  completely  changed 
the  whole  state  of  affairs.  Whoever  could  pay  the  price  fixed 
by  the  administration  tor  exemption  was  completely  exonerated 
by  the  State  from  all  military  service,  and  deemed  to  have 
discharged  his  duty  to  the  country. 

This  freedom  from  all  obligation  to  serve  was  not  the  only 
bad  point  in  the  law  of  1855  ;  there  was  yet  another  not  less 
objectionable ;  it  introduced  into  the  army  ideas  of  pecuniary  ad- 
vantage, which  immediately  benefitted  the  man  who  was  desirous 
of  joining  or  remaining  under  the  colours;  and,  consequently,  can- 
celled that  principle  of  our  military  law, — "In  the  French  army  there 
"  is  neither  bounty  nor  any  payment  whatever  for  engagement.^' 


The  following  were,  after  some  years,  the  consequences  of  this 
law  of  exemption  : — 

Out  of  32,000  non-commissioned  officers,  23,000  had  re- 
engaged with  bounty.* 

More  than  23,000  exemptions  had  been  claimed  annually.f 

The  number  of  that  portion  of  tiie  army  not  furnished  bv  the 
conscription  had  risen  to  283,000,  of  which  number  164,000J  were 
Government  substitutes — men  engaged  or  re-engaged  for  money. 

Doubtless,  the  re-engagement  of  such  a  large  number  of  non- 
commissioned oflScers,  tlie  composition  of  whose  cadres  play  such 
an  important  part,  ought  to  give  great  solidity  to  the  army  ;  and 
it  was  this  idea,  and  the  wish  to  improve  the  situation  of  old  soldiers, 
that  produced  the  law.  But  it  is  also  certain  thut,  on  account  of  the 
large  number  of  engagements  and  re  engagements  with  bounty,  it 
was  impossible  to  incorporate  with  the  army  each  year  more  than 
between  20,000  and  30,000  men  of  the  contingent  voted.  Ex- 
ceptional circumstances  were  requisite,  to  call  on  the  second 
portion  of  the  contingent,  and  if  it  was  enrolled,  the  men  had  no 
military  instruction. 

It  was  then  seen  that  some  instruction  for  the  men  belonging  to 
the  second  portion  of  the  contingent  was  requisite,  and,  conse- 
quently, they  were  drilled  for  three  months  the  first  year,  two 
jnonths  the  second  year,  and  one  month  the  third,  as  fixed  by  the 
circular  10th  January,  1861. 

Finally,  in  1863,  it  was  determined,  with  the  view  of  diminish- 
ing the  number  of  re-engagements  of  non-commissioned  officers, 
whose  cadres  were  entirely  blocked,  to  delay  the  payment  of  the 
bounty  until  their  ultimate  discharge,  paying  meantime  3  per  cent. 
on  the  amount. 

Such  was  the  state  of  affairs  ;  it  had  already  occupied  the  minds 

*  Prior  to  1855  the  number  of  non-commissioned  officers  who  had  re-engaged  did 
not  exceed  3,000  to  4,000. 

t  The  number  2S,000  is  an  average  ;   but  when  war  broke  oiit  in  1859  it  showed 
the  evils  of  the  system  ;  the  price  o   exemption  had  been  fixed  at  92Z.,  and  had  never 
been  increased  when  the  contingent  was  raised  from  100,000  to  140,000  men,  42,000 
exemptions  were  then  asked  for  and  given.     Tliese  exemptions  had  to  be  compensated 
for  in  1860. 

X  Permanent  strength  (1865-1866) — 

1st.  Officei-s  attached  to  regiments,  intendance,  staff  employes 

of  the  artilleiy  and  engineers    . .  . .  . .  . .       24,897 

2nd.  Departmental  gendarmes  (not  including  officers)  . .       20,200 

3rd.  Voluntary  engagements  without  bounty  (serving  7  years)      55,230 
4th.  Voluntary  engagements  with  boimty        . .  16,016  1 

5th.  Government  substitutes 50,097  >     154,777 

6th.  Men  re-engaged  with  bounties      . .  . .  88,664  J 

(Not  including  10,000  gendarmes  i^ho  had  re-engaged.) 
7th.  Re-engaged  without  boimty  ' 
8th.  Foreign  corps  (not  including  French) 
9th.  Native  corps  (not  including  Fi'ench) 
10th.  Veterans 

lltli.  Retained  as  a  punishment. . 
12th.  Not  belonging  to  the  service  (workmen,  musicians,  &c.) 

Total     . . 

. . 




.  •      .  i 




ins,  &c.) 




both  of  the  Government  and  all  those  who  clung  to  the  greatness 
of  their  country,  and  knew  that  a  powerful  mi'itarv  org  miza^ion 
could  alone  preserve  it.  Such  was  the  state  of  ati'airs  when  the 
events  of  1866  forced  into  prominence  facts  which  many  persons 
had  previously  refused  to  see. 

It  was  then  evident  that  the  constitution  of  our  militiry  forces 
did  not  correspond  with  the  exigencies  of  iha  new  state  of 

Doubtless,  our  army  offered  an  imposing  array;  it  had  pre- 
served its  great  qualities.  But  it  could  not  be  concealed,  on  the 
one  side,  that  the  number  of  men  we  could  bring  into  the  field 
was  far  below  that  which  a  neighbouring  power  could  rapidly 
put  on  foot;  and,  on  the  other  hand,  that  we  had  no  real  reserve 
organized  to  support  and  take  the  place  of  the  armv,  or  even  fill 
up  the  gaps  that  war  would  produce. 

Judging  from  official  returns,  it  appears,  that  after  deducting 
the  troops  requisite  to  garrison  Algiers,  the  gendarmerie,  and  all 
the  men  included  in  the  number  400,000  of  the  army,  but  not 
properly  combatants,  that  France  had  not  more  than  270,000  to 
280,000  men  to  garrison  her  fortresses  and  place  in  line  of  battle. 
This  number  (400,000  men)  was  the  actual  strength  the  estimates 
allowed  to  be  maintained ;  but  it  was  not,  we  hasten  to  remind 
you,  the  number  of  men  that  the  law  of  the  contingent  placed  at 
the  disposal  of   the  Government. 

Thus,  during  the  Crimean  war  the  army  was  raised  to  500,000 
men,  by  summoning  the  second  portion  of  the  contingent ;  but 
to  keep  it  to  this  strength,  it  was  requisite  to  have  a  contingent  of 
140,000  men  for  three  years.  When  that  war  terminated,  it  was 
seen  that  the  contingent  must  be  100,000  men  if  the  normal 
strength  of  the  army  was  to  be  600,000  men ;  and  when  the 
Italian  war  broke  out,  the  ne(;essity  of  having  a  contingent  of 
140,000  men  was  acknowledged,  and  this  must  have  been  con- 
tinued if  that  war  lasted. 

It  must  be  borne  in  mind,  gentlemen,  that  the  number  of  the 
contingent  voted  each  year  is  very  far  from  putting  at  the  disposal 
of  the  military  authorities  a  number  of  men  equal  to  the  number 

The  contingent  is  reduced  by  the  number  of  men  requisite  for 
the  navy,  and  also  by  those  le2;ally  exempted,  so  that  a  con- 
tingent of  100,000  men  hardly  places  80,000  at  the  disposal  of  the 
War  Minister.* 

*  Analysis  of  the  result  produced  by  tlie  incorporation  of  a  contingent,  100,000 

men,  under  the  laws  of  1832  and  1868 —  Men.     Men. 

Contingent           . .  . .     100,000 

Ist.  Number  of  men  tliat  certain  joarishes  could  not 
supply  owing  to  the  numbers  of  the  lots  being 

exhausted . .          . .          . .          . .          , .          . .  90 

2nd.  Naval  conscripts 2,023 

3rd.  Pupils  at  the  Polytechnic  School . .          . .          . .  57 

4th.  Employed  in  public  education      . .          . .          . .  1,140 

5th.  Pupils  in  ecclesiastical  establishments     . .          . .  1,06 


In  any  case,  looking  to  the  leceul  cvciils  in  Gerniany,  it  was 
acknowledged  "  tliat  the  military  force  of  France  should  consist  of 
*«  800,000  men, — viz.,  400,000  in  the  regidar  army  and  400,000  in 
"  the  reserve ;  in  addition  to  which  it  was  requisite  to  form  an 
"  army  for  home  defence,  clothed,  drilled,  and  capable  of  being 
"  mobilized  under  the  pressure  of  extraordinary  circumstances, 
*'  such  as  a  threatened  invasion  of  the  country." 

These  ideas  were  those  which  produced  the  project  of  1867, 
brought  forward  by  Marshal  Niel.  To  obtain  the  proposed  object, 
this  project  required — 

1st.  That  the  entire  contingent,  after  deducting  those  who  were 
exempted  or  whose  services  were  dispensed  with  by  the 
law  of  1832,  should  be  put  at  the  disposal  of  the  Govern- 
ment (about  150,000  men  annually). 

2nd.  That  the  annual  finance  law  should  divide  each  class 
enrolled  by  lots  into  portions,  one  of  which  should  be 
incorporated  with  the  regular  army,  the  other  with  the 

3rd.  That  the  length  of  service  in  the  regular  army  should  be 
five  years,  at  the  expiration  of  which  time  the  soldier 
should  serve  four  years  in  the  reserve. 

4th.  That  the  young  men  who  were  not  incorporated  with  the 
regular  army  should  serve  four  years  in  reserve,  and  five 
years  in  the  National  Guard  "  Mobile." 

5th.  Lastly,  that  service  in  both  the  regular  army  and  the 
reserve  should  count  from  the  1st  July  of  the  year,  when 
the  recruits  were  placed  on  the  rolls  of  the  corps. 

This,  it  must  be  acknowledged,  was  compulsory  service  to  a 
certain  extent  for  the  entire  class  placed  in  the  regular  army  or  in 
the  reserve,  yet  the  principle  of  exemption  was  maintained, 
and  young  men  incorporated  with  the  regular  army,  and  those 
composing  the  reserve  might  exchange  with  men  belonging  to 
the  National  Guard  "  Mobile,"  or  obtain  the  latter  as  substitutes, 


6th.  Having  obtained  great  prizes         . .          . .           . .  2 

7tli.  Discharged  the  day  of  the  final  review    . .           . .  683 

8th.  Unfit  for  the  army 774 

9th.  Left  at  home  as  being  ttie  supporters  of  a  family, 

2  per  cent.            ..  2,042 

loth.  Dead  ;  omitted  as  liaving  been  included  in  error  304 

Total 8,176 

Eemalniug  for  the  army  and  navy        . .          . .          . .          . .  91,824 

Naval  contingent..          ..          ..          .,          ..          ..          ..  9,000 

Eemaining  for  the  army. .          . .          . .          . .          . .          . .  82,824 

Young  meii  who  have  voluntarily  engaged,  or  who  already 

belong  to  the  service  by  indenture  or  commissions           . .  3,400 

Leaving  as  the  actual  number  of  men  a  contingent  of  100,000 

men  adds  to  the  army          . .          , .          . .          , .          , .  79,424 


loth    hen  belonged  to  the  latter  forc^,  Mhich  the  1  .w  proposed 
to  create. 

This  Guard  was  composed  of  young  men  wlio,  not  h;.ving 
served  in  the  regular  armj'^,  had  served  four  years  in  tlie  reserve ; 
of  all  those  who,  under  the  law  of  1855,  were  exempted  from 
service,  as  well  as  of  those  who  had  obtained  substitutes  for  service 
in  the  reserve.  The  length  of  service  in  the  National  Guard 
*^  Mobile  ^^  was  fixed  at  five  years. 

Under  this  system  it  will  be  observed  that  all  the  young  men 
of  each  class,  except  those  exempted  or  dispensed  with  by  the  law 
of  1832,  were  enrolled  for  military  service  from  20  until  29  years 
of  age.  Being  for  the  portion  selected  by  lot  five  years  in  the 
regular  army  and  four  years  in  the  reserve,  for  the  portion  not 
serving  in  the  regular  army,  four  years  in  the  reserve  and  five  years 
in  the  National  Guard  ''  Mobile." 

It  consequently  fcdlowed  that  the  reserve  was  composed  partly 
of  old  soldiers  who  had  served  five  years  with  the  colours,  and 
were  from  25  to  29  years  of  age,  and  of  young  men  of  20  to  21 
years  of  age  who  had  not  been  incorporated  with  the  army. 

This  project  appeared,  however,  to  the  legislative  body  to 
impose  too  heavy  a  tax  on  the  population,  and  after  a  discussion, 
to  which  we  need  not  now  do  more  than  refer,  the  law  of  the 
1st  February,  186S,  was  passed,  differing  from  the  Government 
proposition,  it  maintained  the  principles  of  the  law  of  1832,  tiie 
yearly  contingent  l^eing  divided  into  two  classes  :  the  first,  com- 
posed of  young  men  incorporated  with  the  army ;  the  second^  of 
those  who  were  left  at  home. 

The  length  of  service  was  fixed  at  five  years,  after  which  the 
men  served  four  in  the  reserve.  Service  was  to  count  from 
the  1st  July  of  tiie  year  of  enrolment,  which  was  important,^- 
exoneration  was  suppressed,  substitution  and  exchange  of  numbers 
was  allowed;  and  after  five  years'  service  with  the  colours, 
re-engagement  gave  a  right  to  a  high  rate  of  pay. 

The  law  also  established,  as  was  asked,  a  National  Guard 
«'  Mobile." 

This  guard  could  only  be  called  out  by  a  special  law;  it  was 
composed  of  all  the  young  men  who,  on  account  of  the  nurnljers 
they  had  drawn,  were  not  included  in  the  contingent,  and  of  all 
those  who  had  obtained  substitutes  ;  tinally,  of  all  those  exenpted 
by  the  action  of  the  law  of  1832. 

Length  of  service  in  the  National  Guard  "Mobile"  was  five 
years,  the  officers  being  nominated  by  the  Chief  of  the  State. 

Finally,  after  allowing  the  revising  councils  to  grant  dis])onsa- 
tion  to  those  who  had  families  to  support  in  the  proportion  of 
10  per  cent,  in  peace,  and  4  per  cent,  in  case  of  war;  and  hnving 
established  certain  punishments  for  breaches  of  discipline,  the  law 

*  The  operation  of  tlie  census,  drawing  np  tlie  lists,  the  cli-awinp;  of  lots,  the 
action  of  the  council  of  revision,  could  only  be  performed  after  the  1st  January  of 
each  year,  and  necessarily  took  some  months,  consequently  the  full  period  of  service 
■was  never  actually  fulfilled. 


■directed  that  the  yoing  men  composing  the  National  Guard 
*'  Mobile  "— 

1st.  Should  take  part  in  drills  in  their  own  parishes  ; 
2nd.  At  company  aid  battalion  assmblics,  which  should  take 
place  in  the  company  and  battalion  districts. 

But,  the  law  added,  each  drill  or  assembly  must  not  cause  the 
loss  of  more  than  one  day  to  the  young  men  drilled,  and  these 
drills  and  assemblies  can  take  place  only  15  times  in  the  year. 
You  can  thus  see  the  spirit  of  the  law  of  1868,  its  object  was  first, 
— by  having  a  length  of  service  of  nine  years  (live  in  the  regular 
army  and  four  in  the  reserve),  to  put  at  the  disposition  of  the 
Government  nine  contingents,  thus  forming,  if  each  contingent 
were  100,000  men,  a  force  of  about  800,000  men  ;  preserving  the 
system  which  existed,  of  leaving  a  part  of  the  contingent  at  home, 
and  organizing  a  system  of  reserve  which  should  be  like  that 
formed  by  the  law  of  1818,  since  in  effect  this  reserve  was  com- 
posed partly  of  soldiers  who  had  served  under  the  colours  for  five 
years,  or,  who  in  the  second  portion  of  the  contingent,  had  be- 
longed to  the  army  for  five  years. 

Lastlv,  an  attempt  was  made  to  form  at  once,  under  the  name 
National  Guard  "Mobile,"  a  general  reserve,  into  which  all  young 
men  who  on  any  account  whatever  were  not  included  in  the  con- 
tingent had  to  enter.  In  this  way,  this  law  established  universal 
compulsory  service. 

But  at  the  same  time  it  must  be  observed  that  in  imposing  on 
the  young  men  composing  the  National  Guard  "  Mobile  "  drills 
and  assemblies  which  shouhl  produce  a  loss  of  onl^'^  one  day,  and 
could  only  be  repeated  15  times  in  the  year,  the  law  did  not  give 
any  cflicient  means  of  instruction  for  the  men  composing  this 
portion  of  the  army. 

In  addition,  it  must  not  be  forjjotten  that  this  organization  was 
hardly  drafted  when  the  war  of  1S70  broke  out.  You  are  aware 
that  cadres  for  only  a  very  small  number  of  companies  and  batta- 
lions had  been  then  formed.  But  we  also  know%  having  witnessed  it, 
the  generous  efforts  of  the  various  departments  to  hasten  the 
formation  of  those  batteries  and  battalions  which  marched  full  of 
courage  and  devotion ;  and  vou  have  seen  on  many  occasions 
how  these  men,  taken  but  the  dav  before  from  their  peaceful 
occupations,  hardly  knowing  how  to  load  their  firelocks,  have 
given  proof  of  true  courage,  and  shown  what  they  could  do,  had 
the  institutions  of  their  country  but  given  them  habits  of  discipline, 
and  a  better  military  education. 

Such,  gentlemen,  is  a  precis  of  the  various  laws  on  recruiting 
in  our  country.  We  were  anxious  to  pass  them  all  in  review 
before  you,  to  show  on  what  ideas  they  were  conceived,  and  upon 
■what  principles  they  were  founded. 

Now  that  you,  in  your  turn,  have  to  determine  how  the  mili- 
tary forces  of  France  are  to  be  organized,  it  appears  advantageous  to 
recall  the  history  of  this  subject. 

Affairs  are  in  a  worse  state  than  those  our  fathers  knew.     The 


sacrifices  we  must  make  are  greater  ;  on  this  point  we  must  not 
deceive  ourselves. 

Doubtle'^s  it  is  to  be  regretted  on  the  score  of  civilization  that 
Euroj:»e  siiould  be  compelled  to  keep  up  millions  of  men  read}' 
to  take  the  field,  but  this  must  be  so  ]on^  as  the  elements  of  a 
balance  of  power  have  to  be  sought.  Fur  in  the  midst  of  civilized 
nations  conquests  can  but  be  transitory.  But  whilst  we  wait  we 
have  at  our  side  a  power  ready  made,  who,  laborious,  well  tauglit 
and  disciplined,  can  fling  numerous  armies  on  our  naked  frontier. 
We  cannot  hesitate,  let  us  therefore  boldly  begin  the  work. 


Gentlemen,  the  problem  you  have  to  solve  is  a  difficult  one. 
Its  solution  has  been  sought  for  many  years,  when  the  state  of 
things  was  far  less  comj^licated  than  at  present ;  and  yet  the 
ablest  men,  those  most  conversant  with  the  subject^  could  not 
agree  on  what  was  best  to  be  done. 

But  now  that  armies  have  been  brought  to  such  perfection, 
new  and  formidable  weapons  have  been  discovered,  and  since  those 
powerful  engines,  powerful  not  only  for  civihzation  and  commerce, 
but  also  for  war — Railways — have  given  a  power  of  moving  masses 
of  men  suddenly  and  rapidly,  and  throwing  them  quite  un- 
expectedly on  the  country  to  be  invaded,  the  problem  has  indeed 
become  most  complicated.  Amid  the  great  changes  in  the  science 
and  art  of  war,  in  the  formation  and  mobilization  of  armies, 
doul)t!ess  some  general  principles  remain  cmstant,  but  to  apply 
them,  serious  obstacles  must  be  overcome ;  and  it  is  only  by  com- 
promises tiiat  can  satisfy  everyone  that  they  can  be  overcome. 

Thus,  to  give  large  armies,  a  great  number  of  men  must  be 
enrolled  under  the  colours;  but  if  the^e  men  are  withdrawn  for  a 
long  period  from  their  ordinary  pursuits,  society  suffers.  If  too 
short  a  period  of  service  is  fixed,  the  men  do  not  acquire  the 
qualities  of  real  soldiers,  and  the  cadres  do  not  acquire  sufficient 

To  reconcile  these  conflicting  elements  the  constitution  of  the 
army  must  be  studied. 

The  time  requisite  to  make  a  soldier  of  the  different  branches 
of  the  service  must  be  fixed;  what  constitutes  a  solid  cadre  must 
be  determined  ;  and  then  the  problem  how,  in  addition  to  the  regular 
army,  a  force  sufficient  to  strengthen,  replace,  and  fill  its  gaps  can 
be  found,  nmst  be  solved. 

From  another  stand  point  of  view,  the  effect  of  the  proposed 
system  must  be  considered ;  its  effect  on  the  development  of 
population,  upon  civil  pursuits,  upon  agriculture,  commerce,  in- 
dustry, the  sciences  and  arts;  lastly,  the  financial  effect  of  the 
scheme,  and  whether  the  finances  of  the  State  can  support  it. 

Tills  is  nut  all,  important  as  these  questions  are,  there  are 
perliaps  others  of  a  different  c'ass,  of  still  higiier  importance. 

We  refer  to  the  effect  the  law  of  recruiting  must  have  on  the 


feelings  and  the  manners  of  the  nation.  In  a  country  which  requires 
a  powerful  army,  but  where  a  great  number  of  the  citizens  can,  on 
account  of  wealth,  excuse  themselves  from  military  service,  it  is 
probable  that  by  degrees  the  puljlic  spirit  will'  become  profoundly 
altered.  Amidst  the  dangers  and  reverses  of  the  country  hearts 
will  no  longer  vibrate  with  patriotic  feelings,  a  sort  of  egotism  will 
rule  men's  minds,  and  men  will  gauge  the  common  misfortune  but 
bv  that  portion  they  themselves,  as  individuals,  have  to  sustain. 

In  France,  thank  God,  we  are  not  yet  at  that  point.  The  past 
has  left  us  so  much  that  is  grand  that  we  may  yet  struggle  against 
the  enervating  doctrines  preaclied  to  us.  In  the  midst  of  our  dis- 
asters we  had  one  consolation,  it  was  to  see  men,  hitherto  strangers 
to  the  military  profession,  hasten  to  meet  the  summons  to  arms. 
Witliin  these  walls,  v/e  need  not  recall  the  many  noble  examples 
given  on  the  field  of  battle,  where  death  levels  all  distinction  of 
rank.  But,  gentlemen,  for  a  commonwealth,  courage  is  not  every- 
thinii;.     To  make  it  powerful  and  great  other  virtues  are  required. 

The  more  democratic  a  commonwealth  is,  the  more  obedience 
to  a  superior,  and  the  law,  the  more  military  and  civil  discipline 
are  needed  ;  and  we  dare  to  say  it,  the  greater  severity  for  all  who 
violate  these  laws  is  requisite.  At  this  price  only  can  order  and 
liberty  be  maintained.  Is  it  impossible  to  have  a  law  of  recruiting 
such  that  it  will  inspire  these  feelings  and  produce  these  habits  ? 
Your  Committee  thinks  it  possible,  and  its  labours  have  been 
guided  by  these  ideas. 

The  morals  of  a  country  cannot  be  reformed  by  legislative 
enactments  ;  modern  society  in  the  midst  of  the  luxury  diffused 
throuoh  all  classes  by  industry,  commerce,  and  the  arts,  in  the 
midst  of  progress  in  every  direction,  each  day  producing  new  wants, 
cannot  be  compared  with  those  ancient  socieUes,  where  a  legislator 
could  by  his  own  will,  dealing  with  small  numbers  of  people,  issue 
laws  from  which  sprang  great  and  fruitful  reforms. 

But  the  influence  of  institutions  on  men  is  also  known.  It  is 
-acknowledged  that  there  are  in  the  history  of  nations  moments  when 
they  must  draw  themselves  together,  so  to  speak,  and  collect  their 
energies,  in  order  that  they  may  not  slide  clown  that  slope,  down 
which  falling  nations  too  quickly  descend. 

Our  hopes,  our  efforts,  v.ill  doubtless  meet  with  more  than  one 
sceptical  objector ;  for  in  this  France,  for  SO  years  so  agitated,  so 
torn,  where  all  forms  of  government  appear  to  have  been  tried, 
where  all  authorities  have  been  destroyed — raised — but  to  be  again 
destroyed — what  has  remained  constant,  what  principle  is  un- 
altered ?  Has  not  each  revolution  been  one  ruin  more  on  the 
ground;  one  doubt  more  in  the  minds  of  men? 

Yet  we  have  confidence  in  our  countrv,  we  believe  that  its  mis- 
fortunes— perhaps  even  on  account  of  its  misfortunes — it  requires 
enerjiy  only  to  lay  the  dangers  which  menace  it,  and  to  place  it 
once  more  in  its  proper  position  in  the  world.  We  do  not  hesitate 
to  think  that  the  legislative  enactments  you  have  ordered  us  to 
prepare,  cannot  but  have  some  influence  on  the  ideas  and  habits 
of  the  people. 


It  is  from  these  various  points  of  view,  gentlemen,  that  your 
Committee  has  regarded  the  task  entrusted  to  it.  It  has  devoted 
many  meetings  to  this  purpose,  it  has  studied  the  greater  number 
of  the  questions  raised  in  the  projects  sulimitted  by  you,  and  it  has 
examined  the  vai-ious  systems  which  h;ive  been  produced  during 
the  course  of  the  discussion. 

It  has  been  acknowledged  that  the  regulations  of  1&63  cannot 
give  the  results  that  were  expected  from  them.  We  will  explain 
why,  in  another  part  of  our  report,  it  has  been  further  acknow- 
ledged that  these  regulations  are  very  far  from  attaining  the  object 
that  it  appears  desirable  to  reach. 

But  if  its  opinion  is  formed  on  this  subject,  it  has  not  yet  (we 
must  acknowledge)  decided  on  many  points  that  m.ust  be  settled, 
before  arranging  all  the  propositions  that  should  be  laid  before 

It  has  then  only  decided  on  certain  general  principles,  from 
which,  to  a  great  extent,  the  remainder  must  flow,  and  which,  in 
any  case,  must  be  the  frontispiece  of  the  law.  It  has  therefore 
desired  to  submit  these  principles  to  you  l^efore  going  further. 

It  is  good  that  the  country  should  know  them,  and  know  the 
spirit  in  which  the  law,  on  which  its  armed  force  must  be  based, 
has  been  conceived. 

This  is  why  we  have  separated  the  first  section,  which  contains 
the  general  arrangements,  and  which  has  been  unanimously  agreed 
to  by  the  Committee. 

This  section  embraces  seven  articles,  which  are  rather  a  declara- 
tion of  principles  than  the  development  and  application  of  what 
flows  from  those  jDrinciples. 

1st  Section.— General  1)i::;positions. 

Article  1. 

Every  Frenchman  is  liable  to  personal  military  service. 

Article  2. 

There  is  in  the  French  army  neither  bounty  in  money,  nor 
payment  of  any  kind  for  enlistment. 

Article  3. 

Every  Frenchman,  who  is  not  declared  unfit  for  all  military 
service,  may  be  called  on  from  the  age  of  20  to  that  of  40  years,  to 
form  a  portion  of  the  regular  army  and  its  reserves,  according  as 
the  law  directs. 

Article  4. 

Substitution  is  abolished. 

Dispensations  from  service,  according  to  the  conditions  specified 
in  this  law,  do  not  give  complete  exemption. 

Article  5. 
Men  wiih  the  cjlours  are  deprived  of  the  elective  franchise. 


Article  6. 

Every  armed  and  organized  body  of  men  is  under  martial  law, 
and  forms  a  portion  of  the  army  under  either  the  Minister  for 
War,  or  the  Minister  for  the  Navy. 

Article  7- 

No  one  can  serve  in  the  French  Army  who  is  not  a  French- 

The  following  are  excluded  from  and  have  no  title  to  serve  in 
the  army  : — 

1st.    Those  who  have  been  guilty  of  felony. 

2nd.  Those  who  have  been  guilty  of  a  misdemeanour  and 
imprisoned  for  t\\  o  or  more  years,  or  have  been  placed 
under  the  surveillance  of  the  police,  and  deprived  of 
municipal,  civil,  or  family  rights. 

Before  submitting  this  section  to  you,  gentlemen,  we  asked 
the  President  of  the  Republic,  and  the  Minister  of  War  to 
examine  it. 

What  is  now  being  dealt  Mith,  you  will  observe  are  but  general 
principles,  and  do  not  affect  the  organization  of  the  military  forces, 
and  need  not  interfere  in  any  way  with  the  task  to  which  the 
Governnient  devotes  itself  in  such  a  praiseworthy  method;  but  as 
the  principles  we  have  enunciated  must  one  day  have  a  consider- 
able influence  upon  the  army  and  on  society,  we  considered  it 
right  that  we  should  first  hear  the  views  of  the  Government  on  the 

The  Chief  of  the  Executive  Povrer  and  the  Minister  of  War 
attended  a  meeting  of  tlic  Committee,  and  it  followed  from  that 
meeting  that  the  Committee  and  the  Government  were  agreed  on 
several  important  points,  and  only  on  the  question  of  substitutes 
was  there  anv  difference  of  opinion. 

The  study  of  the  details  at  the  proper  moment  will,  we  believe, 
greatly  reduce  this  divergence  of  opinion;  nay,  we  hope  it  will 
ent  rely  disappear. 

However  this  may  be,  it  is  most  desirable  that  you  should  see 
the  spirit  in  which  the  declarations  we  have  made  are  submitted 
to  you. 

Personal  military  servic3  for  all  Frenchmen  is  not  deemed 
unfi  ting. 

It  compels  every  man  from  20  to  40  years  of  age  to  answer  the 
summons  of  his  country  when  its  defence  or  internal  security  is 

It  prevents  his  throwing  his  share  of  this  duty  on  others. 

It  compels  those  who  enlist  voluntarily  to  be  disinterested. 

It  forbids  all  interference  of  the  army  in  political  matters. 

It  suppresses  all  armed  bodies  who  do  not  form  a  portion  of 
the  army  and  are  not  under  military  law. 

Iiastly,  it  declares  that  njne  but  Frenchmen  can  be  admitted 
into  the  Ficnch  Army,  and  t  lose  guilty  of  disgraceful  crimes  are 
excluded  from  a  share  in  that  honour. 


We  propose  to  give  you,  as  briefly  as  possible,  some  remarks  on 
eacb  of  these  Articles.  ^Vlule  it  is  requisite  that  their  bearing 
should  be  clearly  understood,  it  should  not  be  exagoeratcd. 

The  first  Article — "  All  Frenchmen  are  liable  to  personal 
"  military  service  '' — is  the  basis  on  wliich  the  whole  edifice  that 
we  would  raise  rests. 

It  is  requisite  that  every  one  should  know  from  his  infancy 
what  he  owes  to  the  defence  of  his  country ;  it  is  requisite  that  he 
should  prepare  himself  for  his  task,  and  that  he  should  not  for  one 
moment  imagine  that  he  has  the  power  to  withdraw  himself  from 
the  burden  when  it  falls  on  him. 

In  all  situations  society  protects  him  ;  it  is  requisite  that  he  in 
his  turn  should  be  ready  in  all  situations  to  protect  society  with 
all  his  powerS;  both  of  body  and  mind. 

This  principle  is  not  new,  for,  not  to  quote  the  law  of  the 
year  VI,  which  says,  "All  Frenchmen  are  soldiers  and  are  bound  to 
'•'  defend  the  country,"  does  not  every  law  on  recruiting  proclaim 
this  obligation  in  a  general  way  ? 

If,  on  account  of  considerations  to  which  we  will  have  to 
revert,  these  laws  have  in  their  application  tempered  this  principle, 
they  have  yet  maintained  it.  The  last  law  on  this  subject,  that  at 
present  in  force,  savs,v,-ith  reference  to  the  home  army  (the  National 
Guard ''Mobile  ^'),  "  that  it  must  act  as  an  auxiliary  to  the  army 
"in  the  defence  of  fortresses,  coasts,  frontiers,  and  the  maintenance 
"of  order."  Has  not  the  law  of  1SG8  disregarded  the  greater 
number  of  the  exemptions  previously  granted  ?  Have  not  all 
young  men  been  ordered  to  march  ?  Has  not  th.e  entire  country 
responded  to  the  appeal  ? 

We  repeat  there  is  nothing  new  or  surprising  in  this  principle; 
it  is  that  on  which  all  our  laws  of  recruiting  have  been  founded. 

So  far  as  the  general  principle  goes,  and  so  long  as  nothing 
more  than  was  implied  in  previous  laws  which  submitted  all  young 
men  to  tlie  recruiting  law  was  intended,  this  proposal  received  no 
opposition  from  the  Government. 

But  we  must  not  conceal  from  you,  that  in  our  eyes  this 
principle,  as  we  have  laid  it  down,  is  of  far  v»'ider  application  than 
ever  was  contemplated  in  any  former  law. 

We  have  been  induced  to  ask  you  to  base  your  law  on  this 
principle  by  viewing  it  from  two  different  stand  points,  and  in 
order  that  two  distinct  interests  may  be  benefitted. 

Undoubtedly,  when  this  obligation  is  imposed,  when  we  say 
that  every  Frenchman  owes  personal  military  service,  either  in  the 
army  or  its  reserves,  we  seek  tlie  power  of  enlarging  the  army 
and  putting  a  much  greater  number  of  men  at  the  disposal  of  the 
State,  in  order  that  the  masses  of  men  who  can  invade  this 
country  may  be  met  by  masses  of  at  least  equal  strength ;  we  are, 
moreover,  desirous  (and  this  will  be  explained  hereafter)  that  every 
man,  to  spare  himself  the  ennui  of  military  service,  may  seek  to 
prepare  himself  beforehand,  and  thus  reduce  the  expenses  of  the 

But   other   motives,  perhaps  of  a  higher  and  more  elevated 



cliaracter,  have,  as    we    have  already   explained   to  you,   induced 
us  to  proclaim  the  principle  of  coivijndsory  service. 

First,  there  is  the  homage  due  to  the  feeling  of  equality — a 
feeling  which  amongst  the  envious  and  jealous  seeks  to  degrade  all 
to  the  lowest  level :  but  which  we.  on  tl\e  contrary,  seek  to  make 
a  lever  to  elevate  all. 

When  in  any  assemblage  of  men,  especially  in  an  army  v.liere 
discipline  exists,  all  classes  are  mixed  together,  we  may  feel 
sure  that  noble  ideas  will  prevail,  good  examples  will  be  followed, 
and  that  the  whole  tone  will  be  raised.  Further^  we  may  be  sure 
that,  when  performing  the  same  duties,  obeying  the  same  rules, 
bound  by  great  common  interests,  sharing  the  same  privations 
and  the  same  dangers,  all  classes  will  be  knit  more  closely  together, 
and  will  see  much  that  now  appears  to  divide  them  disappear. 
Lastly,  we  may  be  sure  that  under  such  circumstances  men  will 
appreciate  one  another,  and  have  a  mutual  sympathy  for  each 
other;  the  different  gradations  of  rank  which  the  force  of  cir- 
cumstances always  produces  in  all  societies,  far  from  then  being 
an  object  of  jealousy  and  hatred,  will,  on  the  contrary,  produce 
true  respect. 

If  vou  doubt  this,  gentlemen,  ask  old  military  men  who,  having 
settled  down  in  the  country,  meet  every  day  old  soldiers  who 
belong  to  the  corps  in  which  they  have  served.  Further,  ask  naval 
ofHcers  who  amid  trials  and  dangers  of  all  kinds  have  livcel  in 
common  with  the  men  of  their  crews.  Ask  them  what  they  have 
learned,  wdiat  they  have  found  at  home,  when  they  have  met  again 
the  brave  men  whose  labours  and  perils  they  have  shared. 

But  this  is  not  all,  we  must  pay  homage  to  and  do  justice  to  the 
army.  Look  at  what  now  takes  place  in  the  array,  how  industry, 
education,  feeling,  persoiial  dignity,  the  duty  of  men  towards  their 
fellows,  respect  f^n-  superiors,  good  fellowship  with  equals,  is 
increased  and  developed  amongst  the  young  men  who  join  the 
army  annually.  Follow  these  men  after  their  discharges  to  then' 
homes,  you  widfind  them  the  most  sought  after,  the  most  respected; 
they  carry  there  the  qualities  they  have  cultivated,  the  habits  they 
have  learned  in  the  army. 

Let  us  say  it  boldly,  geritlemen  ;  the  army  is  the  great  school 
for  the  country.  Future  generations  will  come  and  imbibe  there 
feelings  of  patriotism,  discipline,  and  honour,  and  the  nation  will 
receive  a  manly  education  which  cannot  but  influence  its  destinies; 
thus  raising  the  tone  of  the  army  itself,  which  will  then  be 
entered  by  men  of  the  well-to-do  classes,  and  the  country  in  return 
will  receive  men  improved  and  civilised  by  the  arm)". 

The  principle  we  propose  for  your  adoption  is  then  from  both 
points  of  view  a  healthy  one. 

In  the  terms  of  Article  2,  there  is  no  longer  bounty  in  money 
or  payment  of  any  sort,  for  engagement.  This,  as  you  are  aware, 
is  the  principle  which  has  existed  since  the  revolution  of  1789; 
the  law  of  1818  used  the  same  words  as  we  now  propose,  and 
they  were  also  reproduced  in  the  law  of  1832.  If  they  are  not  now 
included  in  the  existing  law  of  recruiting  they  have  been  unfortu- 


natcly  erased  for  the  time.  It  is  requisite  that  it  should  be  known 
that  men  who  join  tlie  army  voluntarily  do  so,  not  for  money,  but 
from  a  desire  to  serve  the  country  in  a  noble  career. 

But  while  we  repudiate  all  ideas  of  bounty  for  engagement  or 
re-engagement,  we  are  far  from  saying  that  the  posiiicm  of  men 
who  after  a  certain  number  of  years  wish  to  remam  in  the  army 
should  not  be  improved,  nor  that  the  comforts  of  old  soldiers 
should  not  be  augmented. 

Thus,  additional  pay,  increase  of  pension,  are  by  no  means 
interfei-ed  w-ith  by  this  Article.  What  we  prohibit  is  the  bait 
(pardon  the  expression)  used  to  lure  men  to  enlist.  But  payment 
for  actual  service  rendered  should  be  respected  what  form  soever 
it  may  take. 

Article  3.  "Every  Frenchman  who  is  not  judged  unfit  for  all 
*'  military  service  mav  be  summoned  from  the  age  of  20  years  to  that 
"  of  40^  to  serve  in  the  regular  armv  and  its  reserves,  as  fixed  by 
"  law." 

Thei*e  are  in  this  Article  two  things  to  which  we  must  direct 
your  attention. 

Fu'st,  it  declares  that  every  Frenchman  who  is  not  unfit  for  all 
military  service  may  be  called  on  for  service  in  the  army  and  its 

Second,  it  fixes  the  limit  of  this  service  at  from  20  to  10  years 
of  age. 

The  first  of  these  Articles  you  will  observe  limits  exemptions 
to  those  granted  for  such  infirmities  as  debar  the  individual  from 
forming  a  portion  of  the  army,  or  one  of  the  numerous  auxiliary 
services  which  folL^w  all  armies. 

Thus,  the  post  office,  the  hospitals,  the  telegraphs,  the  commis- 
sariat stores,  &c..  8cc.,  can  evidently  utilize  many  men  who  would 
be  unfit  for  the  ranks.  When  the  law  says  '"unfit  for  all 
military  service,"  it  means  not  only  the  active  duty  of  the  soldier, 
but  for  all  those  other  services  which  do  not  require  the  physical 
qualities  requisite  for  a  soldier. 

Perhaps  at  first  sight  it  may  appear  strange  that  all  those  who 
cannot  completely  fulfil  the  duties  of  a  soldier  are  not  freed  from 
the  obligation  to  serve.  But  it  must  be  remembered  that  the  law 
is  conceived  on  the  basis  that  each  man  must  serve  his  country 
according  to  hisaljilities,  and  that  tlie  greater  part  of  these  auxiliary 
services  take  out  of  the  ranks  many  men  who  should  figure  there 
as  combatants;  taking  this  into  consideration,  it  is  only  just  and 
right  to  declare  that  these  duties  may  be  performed  by  young 
men  wdio  are  now  entirely  exempted,  and  believe  themselves  to  be 
perfectly  free  of  all  duties  towards  the  country. 

The  second  ])roposition  is  equally  important,  and  its  meaning 
should  be  clearly  understood. 

ItfoUows  that  from  the  age  of  ?0  to  40  years  all  Frenchmen  have 
a  serious  duty  to  perform,  that  for  20  years  the  country  wdl  have,  for 
its  defence  and  securitv,  a  right,  to  call  on  their  devotion  and  courage. 
But  this  obligation  will  not  i  e  the  same  during  the  whole  period, 
and  public  opinion  must  not  be  deceived  on  this  subject. 



The  law,  when  it  says  "may  be  called  on  to  form  a  portion  of 
"  the  army  or  its  reserves  as  may  he  directed,"  wishes  to  show  on 
the  one  hand  that  limits  would  be  placed  to  the  action  of  the  law, 
and  also  that  the  periods  during  which  men  would  be  successively 
called  on  for  the  active  army  and  its  reserves  as  well  as  the  condi- 
tions of  service,  would  be  fixed  by  legislative  enactment. 

You  must,  gentlemen,  alwa\s  bear  in  mind  that  the  section 
that  is  now  submitted  to  you  contains  only  general  arrangements, 
and  does  not  enter  into  details,  which  necessarily  are  included  in 
other  sections.  What  we  are  at  present  concerned  with  is  the 
question  whether  or  no  it  is  reasonal)le  that  all  Frenchmen  can, 
according  to  circumstances,  from  the  age  of  20  to  that  of  40,  be 
called  on  for  the  defence  of  the  country  and  the  maintenance  of 
the  security  of  the  commonwealth. 

We,  so  far  as  we  are  concerned,  do  not  hesitate  to  answer 
affirmatively.  Without  referring  to  many  countries  where  a 
similar  obligation  begins  earlier  and  finishes  later,  we  say  to  you 
definitely  that  in  our  opinion  there  must  no  longer  be  bodies  of 
armed  men  in  France,  other  than  those  composing  the  army  under 
the  orders  of  the  military  authorities. 

We  must,  then,  consider  not  only  the  necessity  of  the  organiza- 
tion of  a  regular  army  and  the  reserves  requisite  to  sustain  it  and 
fill  up  the  gaps,  but  also  what  is  I'equisite  for  internal  order. 

This  Article  does  notseem,  then,  to  impose  an  exorbitant  charge 
on  all  Frenchmen  for  20  years. 

The  law  we  propose  will,  if  approved  by  the  Assembly,  be  the 
law  for  recruiting  and  organising  all  the  military  forces  of  France. 

It  is  requisite,  therefore,  that  it  should  be  comprehensive 
enough  to  embrace  everything  that  the  security  or  defence  of  the 
country  may  require,  and  also  leave  no  space,  no  matter  Avhat  may 
happen,  for  those  extraordinary  levies,  which  strike  people  Avith 
astonishment  because  they  do  not  understand  and  are  not  prepared 
for  them.  When  the  various  arrangements  of  this  law  are  examined 
it  will  be  found,  on  the  contrary,  that  the  demands  it  makes, 
although  serious,  for  they  are  appeals  lo  the  patriotism  and  devo- 
tion of  every  one,  are,  however,  far  from  interfering  with  the  duties 
or  clashing  with  the  careers  of  anyone. 

Marriage,  for  example,  your  Con:imittee,  (who  do  not  accept  the 
idea  that  a  married  man  owes  nothing  to  the  defence  of  his  country.) 
will  tell  you  when  we  arrive  at  these  details  how  it  is  proposed  to 
reconcile  the  interests  of  popvilation  with  the  requirements  of 
military  service. 

Your  Committee  will  also  point  out  the  important  part  that  pre- 
paratory military  instruction  will  play,  and  the  happy  results  that 
emulation  produced  by  wise  measures  will  produce  in  the  ranks. 
Once  more  the  Committee  beg  to  repeat  its  recommendation. 
All  Frenchmen  may  be  called  on  from  20  to  40  years  of  age  to 
serve  in  the  army  or  ils  reserves,  as  may  be  determined  by  law 
according  to  circumstances. 

This  principle  has  been  unanimously  agreed  on  by  the  Govern- 
ment and  the  Committee. 


The  same  has  not  been  the  case^  as  we  already  have  said,  with 
the  next  Article,  which  does  away  with  the  law  of  sul)stitution. 

"  Substitution  is  suppressed." 

"  Dispensations  from  military  service  do  not  confer  a  complete 
"  liberation  from  that  duty."' 

You  will  have  observed,  gentlemen,  in  the  first  portion  of  this 
report,  that,  notwithstanding  the  clause  against  substitution  con- 
tained in  the  law  of  the  year  A^I,  it  did  not  fail  to  make  its  appear- 
ance in  the  law  of  the  year  VII,  but  merely  exceptionally,  and  it 
remained  in  force  until  the  year  1814,  despite  the  difficulties  and 
restrictions  thrown  in  the  way  of  its  application. 

You  have  also  seen  that  substitution  was  allowed  in  the  laM's 
of  1818  and  of  1832,  and  if  it  disappeared  in  1855  to  give  place  to 
exoneration  as  we  at  present  have  it,  it  existed  but  under  another 
form,  which  rendered  its  exercise  more  easy,  and  which  was 
re-established  in  1868. 

We  are  not  ignorant  that  substitution  has  been  considered  as 
a  means  of  satisfying  the  exigencies  of  civil  life,  and  of  those  situa- 
tions that  it  was  desirable  for  the  State  to  pi^eserve;  and  whenever 
this  question  has  been  agitated,  it  has  been  stated  that  substitution 
allowed  the  law  of  recruiting  to  weld  itself  more  easily  into  our  social 

It  is  for  this  reason  that  the  Government  makes  no  objection 
to  the  three  first  Articles  of  the  Chapter  which  we  now  lay  before 
you.  As  we  have  already  pointed  out,  the  words,  "Every  Frencli- 
'■  man  is  liable  to  military  service,"  does  not  touch  the  question  of 
substitution,  any  more  than  the  terms  of  the  law  of  1832, 
which  submitted  all  young  men  having  completed  20  years  of  age 
to  the  obligation  to  draw  lots. 

But,  gentlemen,  your  Committee  believes  it  to  be  desirable  to 
go  farther  than  the  laws  of  1818  and  1832;  it  believes  it  is  now 
requisite  to  proclaim  the  rule  of  compulsory  personal  service;  this, 
in  our  opinion,  is  the  basis  on  which  the  law  should  rest. 

It  has  already  told  you  its  motives. 

It  does  not  conceal  that  doubtless  the  suppression  of  substitu- 
tion has  a  certain  importance,  that  with  the  people  this  Article 
will  at  first  appear  the  most  severe  in  the  whole  law ;  but  we 
trust  and  hope,  that  when  better  informed,  they  will  understand 
the  object  we  have  in  view,  and  that  they  will  then  see  only  the 
application  of  principles  which  are  dear  to  them. 

It  will  be  well  to  give  an  account  of  the  various  arrangements 
which  may  be  adopted  to  lighten  the  load  imposed  on  every  one, 
bat  conjointly  with  the  principle  of  compulsory  service,  substitution 
cannot  exist.  If  we  suppose  that  in  the  formation  of  the  army 
and  its  reserves,  certain  substitutions  between  the  young  men  of 
the  same  class  are  allowed;  suppose  that  with  the  object  of 
exciting  emulation  beforehand  and  giving,  so  to  speak,  a  bounty 
in  the  form  of  encouragement  to  superior  attainments,  this  would 
not  be  a  deviation  from  the  main  principles  of  the  law,  which 
allowing  substitution  undoubtedly  would  be. 

But  is  it  requisite  that  every    young  man  should  pass   with 


the  colours  the  entire  period  fixed  for  service  in  the  regular 
army?  We  do  not  think  this  is  requisite,  only  his  not  doing 
so  must  he  in  virtue  of  special  dispensation,  and  such  arrange- 
ments as  may  satisfy  the  legitimate  ends  that  must  he  kept  in  view, 
regard  being  had  to  the  pursuit  of  civil  professions,  and  the 
necessities  of  certain  situations. 

Thus,  while  no  exemptions  but  tliose  arising  from  infirmities, 
rendering  young  men  afilicted  with  them  unfit  for  military 
service,  will  be  allowed,  it  is  evident  that  those  who,  for  example, 
are  the  sole  support  of  a  widowed  mother,  may  obtain  a  dispensa- 
tion, as  well  as  men  who  w^ish  to  take  Holy  Orders,  and  enter 
other  situations  in  life  too  long  to  enumerate  here.  This  is  what 
this  Aiticle  refers  to  when  it  speaks  of  dispensations  on  the  condi- 
tions prescrilied  l)y  \&w. 

If  we  examine  wdiat  has  taken  place  in  a  country  which  on  the 
morrow  of  a  bloody  defeat  was  wise  enough  to  adopt  this  principle, 
we  see  with  what  care  the  various  interests  to  which  we  refer  have 
been  conciliated.  "  Overslaugh's,"  that  is  to  say,  temporary  dis- 
pensations from  service  are  granted  not  only  to  those  who  support 
a  familv,  but  also  to  entire  categories  of  individuals  who  the  State 
considers  should  pursue  their  own  careers. 

And  do  not  tliink,  gentlemen,  that  these  overslaughs 
are  given  only  to  the  higher  ranks  of  society,  for  the  reverse  is  the 

Independently  of  those  individuals  whose  state  is  similar  to 
those  provided  for  by  the  exemptions  of  the  law  of  1832,  we  see 
side  by  side  w'ith  them  the  pupds  of  certain  schools,  the  heads  of 
industrial,  agricultural  or  commercial  establishments,  whose 
presence  appears  indispensable.  We  see  the  sons  of  farmers 
w'hose  labour  is  necessary  on  the  farm,  workmen  and  apprentices 
to  whom  the  State  wishes  to  grant  time  to  complete  their 

Yet  we  must  again  repeat  these  overslaughs  are  not  complete 
exemptions,  they  are  conditional,  for  the  most  part  provisional,  and 
allowed  only  in  time  of  peace.  Then,  in  addition  to  these  dispen- 
sations, it  has  always  been  arranged,  while  the  application  of  the 
general  rule  was  satisfied,  that  the  requirements  of  various  pro- 
fessions should  he  considered.  Thus,  young  men  who  have 
important  studies  to  pursue,  and  who  give  proofs  of  certain  military 
instruction,  are  allowed  to  remain  under  fixed  conditions  but  a  short 
time  with  the  colours. 

We  know  that  in  these  overslaughs  much  is  left  to  the  discre- 
tion of  the  authorities,  but  was  not  tjie  same  done  with  us  by  the 
law  of  1868,  even  for  the  bread  earners  of  families  ? 

There  are,  then,  no  insurmountable  difficulties  in  providing 
fairly  for  all  the  exigencies  of  various  careers.  But  this  must  be 
done  by  the  law,  by  regulations  which  must  be  made  in  broad  day- 
light, so  that  everyone  may  know  them. 

The  Article  adds,  "  Dispensations  do  not  confer  a  complete 

This  is  evidently  a  result  of  the  system  itself.   If  every  French- 


man  from  the  age  of  20  to  40  years  forms  a  jjortion  of  the  regular 
iirmy  and  its  reserves,  it  is  evident  that  the  cause  for  which  a 
dispensation  was  allowed  must  cease  at  some  time  or  other.  It 
would  not  be  just  that  he  should  remain  freed  for  ever  from  all 
military  service;  he  must  follow  the  lot  of  others  who  l^elong  to 
the  same  contingent:  his  obligation  must  only  cease  when  theirs 
cease  too.  Tiiis  is  the  reason  dispensation  from  serA-ice  does  not 
give  complete  liberation. 

By  its  terms  the  law  wished  to  show  that  those  whose  services 
are  dispensed  with,  are  placed  in  a  situation  entirely  different  from 
those  who  are  exempted  by  the  laws  of  lSl>i  and  1832,  viz., 
that  the  exempted  men  were  declared  absolutely  free. 

The  question  of  substitution  is  truly  the  question  of  com- 
pulsory service,  and  it  is  this  which,  as  we  have  already  said, 
divides  the  Committee  from  the  Government. 

The  Government  think,  that  without  substition  it  will  De 
impossible  to  properly  satisfy  the  requirements  of  certaiis  profes- 
«ions,  the  necessities  of  certain  situations;  in  short,  what  the  istate 
of  society  actually  requires. 

The  Committee  think,  on  the  contrary,  while  they  do  not  lose 
sight  of  these  requirements  or  necessities,  that  measures  may  be 
taken  to  satisfy  them,  which  will  stimulate  earnest  study  both 
amongst  civilians  and  military  men.  without  allowing  any  one,  by 
money,  to  relieve  himself  from  the  obligation  of  military  service. 

Thus,  after  all,  it  is  but  a  questioii  of  means  between  the 
Government  and  the  Committee ;  and  we  hope,  that  when  you 
examine  in  detail  what  we  propose,  you  will  also  be  of  the  same 

But  it  apDears  desirable  to  us  that  the  National  Assembly 
should  be  able  to  "uaoe  the  extent  of  the  law. 

When  so  niaiiy  detestable  doctrines  are  spread  through  this 
country,  whose  object  is  to  divide  the  various  strata  of  society  (for 
there  are  really  no  lon2;er  classes)  when  these  detestable  doctrines 
seek  to  divide  those  termed  the  ''rich"  and  the  "poor";  oh! 
gentlemen,  it  is  a  grand  answer  to  be  able  to  make  to  such  peojde, 
all  of  you,  whose  sons  have  fought,  or  who  may  l)e  called  on  to 
fight  for  France,  it  is  a  grand  answer  to  make,  "'  Substitution  is 
"suppressed, every  Frenchman  owes  military  service  to  his  country." 

Your  Committee  has,  with  one  exception,  been  unanimous  in 
adopting  this  principle. 

Article  5,  "Men  under  the  colours  shall  have  no  vote.''  This 
Article  is  inserted  in  the  law  on  account  of  discipline. 

It  seeks  to  interfere  with  none  of  those  questions  which  a  law  on 
the  suffrage  may  raise;  it  seeks  only  to  remove  a  cause  of  discord 
and  insubordination  from  the  ranks  of  the  army. 

It  is  not  advisable  that  military  men,  who,  in  the  acts  they 
have  to  p.erfonn  as  a  bodv.are  submitted  to  tbcir  supLM-iors,  should 
.•■ometimes  find  themselves  the  equals,  perhaps  tiie  adversaries,  of 
those  superiors  without  ceasing  to  be  under  '.lieir  orders 

The  fielings  thus  produced  may  influence,  and  be  influenced, 
by  what  passes  in   the  armj',  which  is  much  to  be  regretted. 


To  use  the  franchise  as  laid  down  by  existing  laws,  men  placed 
in  a  regiment  must  form  distinct  isolated  groups,  according  to  the 
departments  they  belong  to. 

The  men  forming  each  group  must  enter  into  discussions,  and 
must  have  names  inserted  on  their  voting  papers,  of  whirli  they 
are  often  ignorant.  They  are  asked  out  of  their  barracks  and 
camps  to  be  instructed  by  ofticious  election  agents,  and  God  knows 
what  politics,  what  principles  are  often  taught  to  them. 

They  vote  far  away  from  their  fellow  citizens,  who  might  have 
enlightened  them  if  they  had  been  amongst  them,  and,  never- 
theless, their  votes  are  counted  amongst  the  others. 

Gentlemen,  we  could  not  have  a  greater  example  of  the 
discipline,  the  good  sense,  and  moral  power  of  the  army,  than  the 
fact  that  it  has  been  able  to  resist  the  dangerous  solicitations,  the 
fatal  doctrines,  with  which,  for  some  years,  it  has  been  flooded. 

To  take  part  in  elections  is,  for  the  army  itself,  a  bad  thing 
But  for  the  Government,  of  whatever  form,  nay,  for  society  itself, 
it  is  worse. 

The  votes  of  the  soldiers,  as  you  are  aware,  are  not  cast  into 
the  urn  on  the  day  of  election,  and  mixed  with  those  of  the 
cifizens ;  they  are  collected  apart,  and,  according  as  they  are 
favourable  or  the  reverse  to  such  and  such  a  party,  to  such  or  such  a 
political  personage,  public  opinion,  without  taking  any  account  of 
the  causes  which  may  have  produced  the  effect,  strives  to  find 
out  the  motives,  and  very  often  discovers  what  really  has  no 

Thus,  in  addition  to  the  ill  effects  produced  on  discipline,  the 
vote  of  soldiers  with  the  colours  is  productive  of  grave  evils. 
Leave  the  army  its  great  and  noble  mission  to  perfect  itself  in 
military  art  and  science.  Let  it  have  no  political  part  to  play. 
It  belongs  to  the  entire  country,  and  this  in  itself  is  greatness  ;  do 
not  seek  to  drag  it  at  the  tail  of  political  parties. 

Article  6,  "  All  armed  bodies  are  submitted  to  military  law, 
"  and  form  portion  of  the  army  under  military  authority";  hence  the 
National  Guard  is  suppressed. 

During  the  last  war,  bodies  of  men  commissioned  l)y  the  State 
have  been  denied  the  title  of  belligerents.  It  is  requisite  to 
prevent  a  recurrence  of  such  things.  It  must  be  known  that 
all  bodies  of  men  organized  and  armed  by  the  State  are  a  portion 
of  the  army,  and  are  submitted  to  military  law,  either  under  the 
Minister  for  War  or  Marine,  according  to  circumstances. 

This  principle  is,  then,  the  requisite  corollary  of  the  new  organi- 
zation, which,  it  seems  to  us,  should  be  that  of  the  militarv  forces 
of  France,  and  the  obligation  which  the  law  imposes  on  all 

When,  by  the  effect  of  the  principle  of  compulsory  service, 
all  men  can  be  called  on  to  form  a  portion  of  the  regular  army  and 
its  reserves  from  the  age  of  20  to  that  of  40  years,  it  is  evident 
that  the  country  will  then  have  at  its  disposal,  not  only  for  the 
defence  of  its  territory,  but  also  for  the  maintenance  of  internal 
security,  everything  that  is  requisite. 


Hence,  tliere  need  be  nothing  beyond  the  army,  in  the 
form  of  armed  bodies  submitted  to  military  autliority,  but 
having  other  origin,  following  other  rules,  and  dependent  on  other 

'The  National  Guard  disappears,  then,  by  the  force  of  circum- 
stances. All  men  of  20  and  40  years  of  age  ought  to  serve  in  tlie 
army  and  its  reserves  ;  there  is,  therefore,  no  longer  the  means  of 
forming  a  national  guard,  without  borrowing  from  an  organization 
that  it  is  requisite  the  State  should  preserve  intact. 

But  this  definition  of  Article  6  does  not  interfere  with,  we  need 
hardly  say,  the  custom-house  officials,  who, in  carrying  out  the  duties 
entrusted  to  them,  must  evidently  preserve  their  arms  to  defend 
themselves  against  smugglers.  Neither  does  it  affect  the  institu- 
tion of  firemen,  which  is  a  collection  of  brave  men  intended  for 
special  service  in  special  cases. 

Lastly,  t!ie  last  Article  admit  Frenchmen  only  into  the  national 
army,  and  excludes  from  military  service  felons,  those  wlio  are 
guilty  of  misdemeanours,  or  are  placed  under  the  surveillance  of 
the  police. 

The  defence  of  the  country  is  a  duty  for  all  citizens,  but  it  is 
also  an  honour;  the  foreigner  has  no  interest  in  it,  and  the  un- 
worthy must  be  excluded  from  the  privilege. 

These,  gentlemen,  are  the  considerations  which  we  desired  to 
make  known  to  you,  and  whicli  we  should  much  h.ave  lik  ed  to 
abridge.  But  it  was  of  importance  that  everyone  should  understand 
the  bearing  of  the  resolutions  which  we  have  the  honour  to  suljniit. 
We  now  only  submit  general  principles  which  may  serve  as  tlic 
basis  of  the  law  of  recruiting. 

It  is  by  regarding  this  question,  both  as  it  affects  the  armv  and 
societ\^  that  we  have  arrived  at  tiie  conclusions  we  have,  and  from 
the  same  points  of  view  we  i)eg  vou  to  approve  them. 

Do  not  think  that  v.-e  have  disregarded  the  fact  that  interference 
with  the  customs  of  the  people  so  far  as  the  law  of  recruiting  is 
concerned  is  a  delicate  matter.  But  it  seems  to  us  that  the  tims  has 
now  come  when  the  country  must  take  up  a  position  from  whirli 
reforms,  such  as  we  desire,  may  flow.  Be  sure  of  this,  that  far 
from  clashing  with  popular  sentiment,  the  people  will,  when  tliev 
see  this  great  Assembly  proclaiming  these  principles,  understand 
the  elevation  and  patriotism  Avhich  animates  it. 

Do  not  think  that  we  have  allowed  ourselves  to  be  drawn  away 
in  pursuit  of  novelties,  or  by  an  unreasoning  desire  to  imitate  what 
has  succeeded  with  other  nations. 

No  ;  for  while  we  know  that  it  is  requisite  not  to  adhere  blindlv 
to  the  mistakes  of  the  past,  and  believe  that  our  methods  and  our 
institutions  arc  the  best,  yet  we  are  equally  aware  that  it  would  be 
folly  to  conclude  that,  because  we  have  met  with  reverses,  therefore 
our  institutions  contain  nothing  but  faults.  iSuch  alterations  as  are 
required  should  be  made,  then,  with  a  firm  but  prudent  hand. 
And,  if  we  have  sought  instructions  beyond  our  frontier,  it  is  the 
better  to  understand  our  misfortunes,  and  the  better  to  understand 
the  lessons  they  convey. 


Lastljr,  gentlemen,  we  cannot  forget  tlie  words  of  Montesquieu 
as  to  what  constituted  the  greatness  of  the  Romans. 

"  Having  successively'  eombatted  with  all  people,  they  invariably 
*\2,ave  up  their  own  customs  so  soon  as  they  found  better.  Their 
"first  object  was  to  find  out  in  wliat  respect  their  enemy  had  a 
"  superiority,  and  that  they  instantly  adopted.^' 

Chapters   II,  III,  IV,  and  V. 

After  pointing  out  in  the  first  part  of  this  report  the  various 
laws  which  have  governed  the  recruiting  of  our  armies;  after 
exposing  the  general  piinciplcs  which  should,  we  think,  serve  as 
the  basis  for  our  new  military  institutions,  there  remains  to  sul)mit 
to  you  the  various  rules  which  the  application  of  these  principles 

But,  in  order  that  we  mav  advance  more  securely  on  the  road 
that  the  interests  of  the  country  demand,  a-id  that  public  opinion 
appears  in  some  sort  already  to  have  marked  out,  it  is  requisite  to 
state  the  problem  clearly. 

We  think  that  the  army  France  at  present  requires  is,  not  only 
a  force  permanently  and  powerfully  organized,  and  a  great  school, 
where  all  the  elements  of  which  the  nation  is  composed  may 
imbibe  instruction  and  military  discipline  bc^fore  entering  civil  life, 
but  also  avast  fran)ework  within  which  all  these  elements,  educated 
and  told  off  beforehand,  may  range  themselves  when  the  country 
is  menaced  in  its  independence,  or  its  internal  security. 

This  is  the  problem  we  seek  to  solve. 

This  problem,  genf;iemen,  is  no  invention  of  ours;  force  of 
circumstances,  our  situation  in  Europe,  above  all,  the  state  of  our 
society,  imperatively  demand  its  solution. 

Doubtless,  existing  legislation  might  create  considerable,  nay, 
imposing  military  forces,  but  it  cannot  lay  all  the  dangers  which 
threaten  us. 

There  is  no  one  who  has  a  greater  respect  for  the  distinguished 
authors  of  the  laws  of  1818  and  1832  ;  none  who  render  more 
justice  to  their  work  than  your  Committee.  We  have  owed  to 
them,  for  fifty  years,  the  soldiers  of  which  we  have  been  so  justly 
proud.  The  recruiting,  the  organization  of  the  army,  answered 
fully,  as  we  acknowledge,  to  the  requirements  of  that  period. 

You  may  recall  how  at  those  periods,  in  the  midst  of  various 
States  which  had  coalesced  against  and  conquered  her,  France  still 
preserved  her  preponderance,  owing  to  the  size  of  her  territory, 
her  population,  and  her  unitv. 


You  may  also  recall  of  what  the  permanent  armies  of  the  great 
powers  were  composed,  what  heterogeneous  masses  manv  put  in 
line  before  the  homogeneous  forces  of  France. 

Lastly,  it  is  well  knoun  that  with  tiie  arms  then  in  use,  with 
the  means  of  transport  then  existing,  the  personal  valour  of  the 
soldier  was  of  great  importance. 

This  quality  of  personal  courage  is  not  now  so  gi'cat  as  when 
troops  fought  closer  ;  firmness  and  courage  upon  the  held  of  battle 
often  then  compensated  for  inferior  numbers.  Under  these  heads 
our  army  has  been  happily  gifted. 

Looking  to  the  state  of  things  in  the  country  itself,  after  the 
great  and  often  glorious  wars  of  the  revolution  and  the  empire,  wc 
see  that  although  the  country  was  in  a  state  of  exhaustion,  and  there 
was  much  outcry  against  the  abuse  of  the  conscription,  yet  the 
better  classes  of  society,  influenced  by  the  noble  history  of  the 
past,  still  sougbt  the  profession  of  arms ;  young  men  know-ing 
nothing  of  commerce,  for  whom  industrial  pursuits,  then  in  their 
infancy,  had  no  charms,  and  who  were  little  afTected  by  the  enjoy- 
ments of  luxury.  Lastly,  if  there  were  in  the  country  parties 
animated  by  hostile  'political  passions,  none,  at  least,  sought  to 
upset  social  order  itself,  and  to  hurl  one  class  of  individuals  against 

Under  such  conditions  laws  which,  while  they  based  re- 
cruiting on  the  principle  of  equality,  gave  some  alleviation  to 
the  severity  of  the  regulations;  produced  an  army  which,  although 
drawn  from  all  the  living  force  of  the  nation,  yet  by  allowing 
sul)stitution,  permitted  those  who  were  in  easv  circumstances  to 
escape  military  service,  and  by  length  of  service  formed  and 
kept  old  soldiers. 

Such  laws  and  such  an  army,  we  repeat,  were  then  in  unison 
with  both  our  situation  in  Europe  and  our  internal  condition. 

Nevertheless,  this  legislation,  which,  when  it  appeared,  was  a 
true  conquest  over  ancient  prejudices,  yielded,  perhaps,  too  much 
to  the  objections  raised  against  conscription.  It  liberated  from 
military  service,  and  freed  for  ever  fiom  the  most  holy  of  all 
duties,  those  who  the  ballot  did  not  send  under  the  colours. 
Thus,  raising  substitution,  in  one  sense,  from  a  privilege  to  a 
right.  It  cannot  be  denied,  that  seeds,  the  growth  of  which  have 
enervated  the  public  spirit,  and  altered  the  constitution  of  the  army 
were  thus  sown. 

This  did  not  fail  to  show  itself  under  the  Governii.cnt  of  the 
Restoration,  and  under  that  wliich  succeeded  it,  and  many  men, 
eminent  for  their  military  experience,  largely  discussed  the  bearing 
of  these  laws. 

They  studied  by  what  combinations  it  was  possible  to  instruct 
a  larger  number  of  young  soldiers  each  year.  And  this  became 
more  desirable  when,  on  account  of  the  increase  of  riches, 
and  the  large  number  of  new  careers  opening  for  3'oung 
men,  it  became  apparent  that  each  year  tlie  nu;nber  of  voung  men 
belonging  to  the  well-to-do  classes  entering  tlie  army  de- 
creased,  and    the   number   of   substitutes    increased.     Men    then 


began  to  be  much  affected  by  the  change,  and  means  to  remedy 
it  were  anxiously  sought. 

Thus,  gentlemen,  each  day  the  army  became  gradually  more 
and  more  an  institution  distinct  from  the  country,  to  which  the 
country  appeared  entirely  to  give  up  its  defence  and  its  security  ; 
and  all  those  who  did  not  belong  to  it  were  entirely  relieved  from 
this  duty,  and  became  utterly  careless  about  it. 

Happily,  the  army  preserved  its  noble  traditions,  and  it 
imbibed,  from  feelings  of  honour  and  discipline,  a  power  and  a 
patriotism  which  it  should  have  obtained  from  the  aid  of  all 
citizens.  Happily,  also,  at  the  period  of  which  we  speak,  our 
organization,  compared  with  that  of  the  greater  part  of  other 
nations,  was  far  from  being  deficient. 

But  since  then,  gentlemen,  things  have  changed  not  only  all 
round  us,  but  even  in  our  midst. 

You  know  who  are  now  the  great  powers  of  Europe,  and  in 
what  position  thev  ai^e,  the  importance  of  their  military  forces,  and 
what  has  led  them  to  profoundly  modify  the  constitution  of  their 

You  are  equally  aware  of  the  internal  state  of  our  own  country  ; 
the  revolutionary  passions  it  is  torn  by ;  the  fatal  doctrines  men 
seek  to  spread  amongst  the  people;  the  solicitations  they  address 
to  the  soldiers;  the  divisions  that  are  to  spread  in  all  ranks  of 

Looking  to  the  state  of  foreign  affairs,  and  in  presence  of  the 
infernal  perils  which  threaten  us,  it  appears  indispensable  and 
requisite  to  enlarge  greatly  the  basis  upon  \vhich  hencefortii 
should  rest  what  we  may  term  the  armed  organization  of  this 

Doubtless  the  law  of  18G8,  and  this  should  be  acknowledged, 
has  already  taken  an  important  stej)  in  the  direction  we  seek 
to  follow,  since  in  place  of  completely  liberating  from  military 
service  the  young  men  who  are  not  embraced  in  the  annual 
contingent,  it  still  retained  them  to  make  a  part  of  the  National 
Guard  "  Mobile,"  intended  to  be  an  auxiliary  to  the  active  army. 
But,  it  imposed  on  them  no  service  in  the  army,  and  called  on 
them,  only  in  case  of  war,  without  giving  them  any  sufficient 
military  instruction.  On  the  one  hand,  it  gave  up  a  considerable 
portion  of  the  resources,  which  it  might  otherwise  have  disposed, 
and  on  the  other,  it  allowed  too  great  a  difference  to  exist 
between  the  men  composing  the  various  classes,  of  whom,  some 
placed  in  the  contingent  remained  nine  years  in  the  army,  whilst 
others  belonged  only  to  tlie  National  Guard  "  Mobile "  for  five 
years,  and  as  substitution  was  maintained,  it  was  evident  that  the 
composition  of  the  regular  army  could  not  be  altered.  It  was, 
then,  not  in  the  army  but  in  the  National  Guard  *'  Mobile"  that 
all  the  young  men  of  certain  classes  in  society  were  to  be 

Now,  on  the  contrary,  what  we  seek  we  cannot  too  often  repeat 
is  the  union,  the  mingling  in  the  ranl^s  of  the  army  of  all  the 
elements  of  society,  how  diverse  soever  they  may  be.     This,  in  our 


opinion,  is  a  social  necessity  imposed  on  the  country,  as  urgent  as 
the  defence  of  our  soil  which  imperiously  demands  it. 

Thus,  gentlemen,  \vc  arrive  at  the  ideas  which  we  have  already 

The  army  ought  to  be  not  only  a  permanent  force  powerfully 
organized,  and  a  great  school,  where  all  classes  of  the  nation  come 
in  succession  to  imbibe  military  instruction  before  entering  civil 
life,  but  also  a  vast  framework  in  which  the  educated  elements 
previously  classed  according  to  their  aptitude  are  arranged,  the  day 
the  country  is  menaced,  either  in  its  independence  or  its  internal 

To  realise  these  ideas  has  been  our  desire  in  bringing  forward 
the  project  we  lay  before  you. 

This  project  is  divided  into  five  sections.  The  first  is  devoted 
to  general  arrangements  in  some  sort  the  preamble  of  the  lav/  ;  this 
we  have  already  dealt  with,  and  do  not  again  propose  to  refer  to. 

The  second  treats  of  calling  out  the  various  classes. 

The  third  treats  of  military  service. 

The  fourth  of  voluntary  enlistment. 

The  fifth  of  penalties. 

2nd  Section. 

Founded,  as  you  are  aware,  upon  the  principle  of  compulsory 
service  for  all  Frenchmen  who  are  not  considered  unfit  for  military 
service,  the  Bill  will  summon  all  young  men,  aged  20  years,  to 
form  a  portion  of  the  regular  army,  then  to  serve  in  the  reserve, 
and  then  in  the  territorial  army  until  the  age  when  their  services 
will  be  dispensed  with. 

The  census  of  these  young  men  is  carried  out  according  to 
existing  rules,  lots  are  drawn  exactly  as  at  present  (the  reason  why 
will  be  shortly  explained) ;  then  they  are  examined  by  councils  of 
revision,  which  pronounce  upon  the  objections  which  may  then  be 
raised,  as  well  as  on  the  causes  of  exemptions  and  dispensations. 
The  law  recognizes  no  other  cause  for  exemption  than  those  re- 
sulting from  infirmity,  which  renders  a  man  unfit  not  only  for 
service  in  the  regular  army  but  also  from  being  utilized  in  its 
auxiliary  services  ;  and  the  law  further  directs  that  young  men 
who  appear,  on  account  of  a  want  in  height,  not  to  fulfil  the 
requisite  conditions  should  stand  over,  and  their  cases  be  sub- 
mitted for  two  consecutive  years  to  a  new  examination  by  the 
council  of  revision. 

As  for  men  whose  services  are  dispensed  with,  the  project 
admits  but  three  classes. 

The  first  for  young  men  that  the  laws  of  1S32  and  1868  con- 
sidered would,  by  their  removal,  make  too  great  a  gap  in  families, 
whatever  may  be  their  situation  or  fortune  (Art.  13  of  the  law 
of  1832). 

The  second  is  conditional,  that  the  young  men  to  whom  it  is 
granted  remain  for  a  ceitain  time  in  professions  that  it  is  the  interest 
of  the  State  that  they  should  follow  (Art.  11  of  the  law  of  183.2). 


The  tliird  for  tlio^e  who  are  really  the  bre id-earners  of  their 
fuiuilies,  and  actually  fidfii  tins  duty. 

These  dispensations  are,  hovvever,  vnerely  conditional ;  the 
young  men  to  whom  thev  are  granted  do  not  cease  to  belong  to 
their  classes,  and  wheti  the  cause  for  dispensation  disappears  they 
are  then  suljmitted  to  all  the  obligations  that  they  otherwise  would 
be  found  to  fulfil. 

Then,  to  satisfy  the  requirements  of  men  who  have  to  perfect 
themselves  in  their  apprenticeship  to  some  trade  or  art,  also 
to  the  requirements  of  certain  commercial  enterprises,  and  also 
the  l)etter  to  meet,  we  do  not  hesitate  to  say,  the  requirements  of 
justice,  the  law  permits  in  time  of  ])eace  a  delay  or  overslaugh  for 
young  men  placed  in  the  above  conditions. 

This  is,  if  we  may  use  the  expression,  a  counterbalance  to  what 
you  will  see  proposed  hereafter  for  young  men  whose  studies  cannot 
be  stopped,  or  too  long  suspended,  without  a  great  prejudice  to 
the  careers  on  which  thev  are  engaged. 

But  these  '"delays"  do  not  liberate  the  person  who  receives 
them  from  military  service;  they  adjourn  simply  in  favour  of  his 
vocation  in  life  the  period  wlien  it  has  to  be  fulfilled,  and  mav  in 
certain  cases  diminish  its  duration. 

Further,  the  number  of  these  dispensations  accorded  to  the 
bread-earners  of  families,  as  well  as  of  the  "delays,"  is  limited 
in  proportion  to  the  miml)er  of  young  men  considered  fit  for 

The  responsibility  of  granting  them  is  handed  over  to  a  council 
possessed  of  the  fullest  information,  and  the  composition  of  which 
is  of  itself  a  guarantee  for  the  justice  of  its  decisions. 

Lastly,  all  young  mtn  who  may  be  left  in  situations  such 
as  we  have  described  may  be  subjected  to  drill,  and  in  case  of 
war  are  not  exemj)ted  from  taking  part  in  the  defence  of  the 

When  the  councils  of  revision  have  terminated  their  labours, 
the  parochial  recruiting  list  is  finally  completed.  This  list  is  divided 
into  five  parts,  so  that  all  the  young  men,  except  those  definitely 
exempted  on  account  of  infirmities  rendering  them  unfit  fcu"  any 
service  whatever  are  inscribed  each  according  to  the  situation  in 
W'hich  he  is  placed. 

Further,  the  law  directs  that  from  these  lists,  when  the  class 
shall  have  been  placed  at  the  disposal  of  the  Minister  of  War. 
there  shall  be  kept  in  each  department  or  in  each  district  a  register 
upon  which  the  names  of  all  the  young  men  who  are  not  declared 
unfit  for  military  service  shall  be  borne. 

This  register  will  have  a  remark  opposite  each  man's  name, 
and  the  position  in  wliicli  he  is,  and  all  the  changes  tliat  may  be 
made  in  his  situation,  \mtil  he'shall  have  passed  into  the  teritoiial 
army,  shall  be  thereon  entered. 

Each  man  entered  on  this  register  is  bound  to  notify  when 
he  changes  his  residence,  so  that  the  War  Office  shall  know  always 
where  he  may  be  found  if  required,  under  any  of  the  cases  referred 
to  bv  the  law. 


Tliis  register  \s  the  basis  upon  \vliich  the  system  we  submit 
must  to  a  great  extent,  depend.  By  it  alone  can  the  careers 
of  men  fuinning  a  portion  of  the  active  army  and  its  reserves 
be  followed.  By  it  alone  can  they  be  classed,  not  oidy  accord- 
ing to  their  incorporatioi^  but  according  to  to  the  various  situa- 
tions that  their  profession  renders  tliem  fitted  for,  and  the  day 
when  it  is  requisite  to  call  on  these  men,  they  will  be  found  all 
ready  classed  i)eforehand,  and  they  can  at  once  be  used  to  the  liest 

3iiD  Sectiox. 

After  thus  determining  the  situation  of  the  young  men  in  each 
class,  the  law  divides  into  different  periods  the  time  during  v/incli 
every  Frenchman  who  is  not  declared  unfit  for  all  military  service 
may  be  called  on  to  form  a  portion  of  the  regular  army  and  its 

These  periods  are  fixed  as  follows : — 

In  the  regular  army  service  for  five  years,  after  which  service, 
in  the  reserve  of  that  army  for  four  years. 

After  which  men  can  only  be  called  on  for  service  in  the  terri- 
torial army  for  five  vears,  and  in  its  reserve  for  six  years.  All 
voung  men  of  the  class  called  on,  .vho  are  not  exempted  on  ac-count 
of  infirmity,  or  whose  services  are  not  dispensed  Avith,  or  who  have 
not  obtained  '"'  delays,"  form  a  portion  of  the  regular  army  and 
are  placed  at  the  disposal  of  the  Minister  of  War. 

These  young  soldiers  are  all  registered  as  belonging  to  the 
different  corps  of  the  army,  and  are  sent  to  their  corps,  to  battalions 
or  schools  of  instruction. 

All  begin  by  serving  for  a  year  in  the  different  situations  in 
which  they  are  placed  according  to  their  fitness  and  their  profes- 
sions;  after  this  first  year  the  number  of  men  only  which  has  been 
fixed  by  the  Minister  of  War,  according  to  the  estiniatc,  and  the 
requirements  of  the  service  are  retained  with  the  colours. 

These  men  are  selected  ])y  the  numljers  they  have  drawn  in 
the  lists  of  each  parish,  and  in  the  proportions  determined  bv  the 
y\av  Minister. 

Young  men  included  amongst  those  who  are  to  serve  only  one 
year,  but  who  do  not  know  how  to  read  and  write  and  cannot  pass 
the  requisite  examinations^  are  kept  in  the  corps  for  a  second 
year.  On  the  contrary,  those  who  by  having  acquired  militarv 
instruction  prior  to  their  entry  into  the  army,  joined  to  what 
they  have  learned  in  the  army,  can  in  six  months  fulfil  all  the 
required  conditions,  may  at  periods  fixed  by  the  Minister  be 
sent  home  on  furlough.  This  furlough  is  the  situation  in  which 
all  men  sent  home  after  a  year's  service  in  the  army,  as  well  as 
those  who  after  a  longer  or  shorter  period  of  service  in  the  army 
may  be  sent  home,  remain.  They  are  at  the  disposal  of  the 
Minister  for  War  during  the  entire  j")eriod  they  belong  to  the 
regular  army.  And  must  undergo  such  inspections  and  drills  as 
the  Minister  may  direct. 


It  is  requisite  to  observe  that  the  law,  when  it  says  that  all 
soldiers  belong  to  the  regular  army  for  five  years,  does  not  mean 
that  they  remain  under  the  colours  for  that  time.  Conside- 
rations to  which  we  will  hereafter  refer  have  induced  us  to  fix 
this  period  as  that  during  Avhich  all  young  men  of  a  class,  what 
situation  soever  thev  may  be  in,  that  is  to  say,  either  serving  or 
held  in  readiness,  or  on  furlouL^h,  or  even  detailed  for  auxiliary 
services,  owe  their  service  to  the  regular  army„  which  is  the  first 
regular  force  of  the  country. 

After  this  period  the  men  enter  the  reserve  of  the  regular 
army,  and  remain  there  four  j^ears.  During  these  four  years  they 
are  only  oi)liged  to  take  part  in  two  manoeuvres,  the  duration  of 
which  must  not  exceed  28  days  each.  They  may,  as  may  those 
who  are  in  readiness  for  the  army,  marry  if  they  wisli. 

But  married  men  are  none  the  less  compelled  to  give  the  same 
service  as  others  of  the  class  to  which  they  belong. 

The  time  passed  in  the  first  reserve  being  completed,  that  is  to 
say,  when  they  reach  the  age  of  29  years,  the  young  men  of  the 
classes  fprm  a  portion  of  the  territorial  army,  and  later  of  the 
second  reserve. 

While  the  project  leaves  it  for  a  special  law  to  determine  the 
basis  of  the  organisation  both  of  the  regular  army,  the  territorial 
army  and  its  reserves,  it  however  lays  down  (because  a  law  on 
recruiting  should  enable  people  clearly  to  understand  the  extent  of 
their  obligations)  the  principle  that  the  territorial  army  should  be 
formed  from  detinite  districts  fixed  by  legislative  enactment,  and 
that  each  district  should  embrace  only  the  men  who  are  domiciled 

As  regards  the  navy  and  the  various  corps  attached  to  it — 

Recruiting  will  continue  as  at  present,  no  alterations  are  pro- 
posed in  the  naval  conscription  or  for  the  marines,  only  on  account 
of  the  nature  of  the  service,  which  is  essentially  a  voluntary  engage- 
ment or  re-engagement  on  certain  fixed  conditions  that  will  be 
established  by  law,  according  to  the  wishes  of  the  young  men  wdio 
may  be  summoned  when  the  lists  are  being  revised.  However,  it 
is  only  when  the  requisite  number  of  men  cannot  be  procured 
voluntarily  that  recourse  will  be  had  to  this  method. 

In  such  a  case  I'ecourse  will  be  had  as  at  present  to  the  young 
men  who  h.ave  drawn  the  first  numbers  in  each  parish  list.  But 
to  allow  freedom  to  those  wlio  feel  a  desire  to  serve  at  sea  instead 
of  on  land,  the  law  authorised  exchanges  between  these  young  men 
and  those  destined  for  the  army. 

Lastly,  men  so  enrolled  for  the  navj^,  or  in  bodies  organised  for 
naval  service,  after  serving  the  time  prescribed  for  the  regular 
army  will  remain  only  two  years  in  the  first  reserve ;  they  will  then 
enter  the  territorial  army.  The  nature  of  the  service  renders  this 
favour  just. 

4th  Section. 

The  law  then  deals  with  the  question  of  engagements  and 


The  young  man  who  wishes  to  enlist  voluntarily  must,  if  he 
enter  the  army,  be  18  years  old,  and  at  least  5  feet  and  half  an  inch 
in  height.  The  age  for  engagement  is  thus  reduced  one  year,  the 
height  at  present  required  is  lowered  by  one-third  of  an  incli ;  the 
other  conditions  required  for  engagement  are  continued,  and  to 
them  we  advise  you  to  add,  that  the  volunteer  must  know  how  to 
read  and  write. 

You  have  seen  already  that  we  propose  that  the  soldier  who 
does  not  know  how  to  read  or  write,  may,  in  certain  definite  con- 
ditions, be  retained  one  year  longer  with  the  colours.  It  is  only 
natural  therefore  to  impose  a  condition  on  those  who  enlist,  the  im- 
portance of  which  will  he  recognised  daily  by  the  mass  of  the  people. 

The  duration  of  this  engagement  is  five  years,  but  in  case  of 
war,  all  Frenchmen  who  belong  neither  to  the  regular  army,  nor  to 
its  reserve  may  engage  to  serve  during  the  continuance  of  the  war. 

Lastly,  young  soldiers  who  are  about  to  be  sent  on  furlough,  or 
who  are  on  furlough,  may  be  authorised  to  complete  five  years' 
service  with  the  colours. 

So  far  as  re-engagements  are  concerned  the  project  allows  them, 
but  with  certain  restrictions,  re-engagements  which,  after  five 
years'  service  under  the  colours  give  a  right  to  high  pay,  are  allowed 
for  only  two  years,  but  are  renewable  for  corporals  and  soldiers 
until  29  years  of  age,  and  for  sous-officers  until  32  years  of  age. 

This  is  an  alteration  which  is  somewhat  important,  and  not 
without  its  object,  for  it  allows  a  greater  number  of  men  to  be 
passed  through  the  ranks,  and  allows  useless  men  to  be  got  rid  of, 
men  who,  if  retained  too  long,  would  have  no  chance  of  finding 
in  civil  life  occupations  capable  of  procuring  a  livelihood. 

But  in  consequence  of  this  arrangement,  it  is  evident  that  the 
State  must  ensure  to  the  sous-officers,  who  leave  the  army  after 
12  years  good  service,  a  certain  number  of  employments  in  which 
they  may  acquire  the  right  of  an  honourable  retirement. 

This  is  the  object  of  a  special  clause,  in  addition  to  which  it  is 
the  intention  of  the  Government,  as  the  Minister  for  War  has 
informed  us,  to  ask  that  proportionate  pensions  be  assigned  to 
soldiers  who  have  passed  12  years  with  the  colours;  that  the 
position  of  sous-officers  be  improved,  and  without  allowing  disci- 
pline to  suffer  thereby  their  situation  should  be  made  more  secure : 
by  thus  exciting  amongst  all  men  capable  of  aspiring  to  these 
grades  a  healthy  emulation,  the  cadres  of  the  army  will,  doubtless, 
be  much  improved. 

But  an  innovation  which  is  much  greater  is  that  embodied  in 
the  regulations  relative  to  those  who  engage  voluntarily  for  a  year 
When  we  laid  before  you  the  reasons  upon  which  we  based  this 
law,  Ave  said,  without  allowing  the  payment  of  any  sum  of  money 
to  purchase  freedom  from  military  service,  it  was  still  possible  to 
satisfy  the  demands  of  certain  civil  careers  by  measures  which 
would  serve  to  stimulate  serious  study,  and  the  progress  of 
instruction,  both  civil  and  military. 

Chief  amongst  these  measures  is  undoubtedly  the  institution 
of  volunteers  fur  one  year. 



This  institution  rests  upon  a  twofulcl  idea: — 

1st.  That  the  apprenticeship  of  a  young  man  to  military 
service  may  be  mucli  shorter  if  he  possesses  a  good 
education  tlian  if  he  does  not. 

2nd.  That  in  the  interests  of  society  and  the  army  itself,  it  is 
better  that  a  young  man,  who  is  destined  for  a  civil  career, 
should,  on  the  one  hand,  interrupt  his  studies  as  little  as 
possible,  and,  on  the  other,  be  ready  the  day  the  defence 
of  the  country  summons  him  to  be  placed  according  to 
his  fitness  in  the  position  in  the  service  for  which  he  is 
best  adapted. 

The  law  jorovides  for  young  men  in  two  categories  who  may 
come  forward  to  contract  such  engagements.  For  both  the  favour 
will  only  be  granted  when  the  instruction  they  have  acquired 
justifies  it. 

Oidy  some,  who  are  provided  with  a  proof  of  instruction,  by 
being  Bachelors  of  Letters  or  Bachelors  of  Sciences,  or  belonging 
to  certain  schools,  are  allowed  to  have  a  7^ig}it  if  they  fulfil  other 
conditions  to  form  this  engagement  for  one  year. 

Others,  on  the  contrary,  who  arc  not  in  these  situations, 
must  be  authorised  to  pass  the  prescribed  examinations,  the 
programme  of  which  must  be  drawn  up  with  reference  to  an 
extended  military  knowledge ;  the  numbsr  of  the  latter  class  to  be 
settled  each  year  by  the  Minister  for  Wa ;. 

In  both  cases  the  engagement  should  be  formed  before  the  lots 
of  the  class  to  which  they  belong  are  draM'n.  In  all  cases  a  young 
man  who  has  diplomas,  or  who  is  studying  in  certain  schools,  and 
who  has  not  completed  his  studies  in  the  school  to  which  he  l)elongs, 
and  who  desires  to  complete  them  within  a  fixed  period,  can,  by 
producing  the  requisite  certificates  and  forming  an  engagement  for 
one  year,  obtain  from  the  military  authorities  an  overslaugh  before 
joining  the  corps  in  which  he  has  engaged  ;  this  overslaugh  can 
only  be  granted  to  him  up  to  23  years  of  age. 

The  volunteer  for  one  year  is  clothed,  mounted,  equipped  and 
maintained  at  his  own  expense,  thus  relieving  the  State  of  all 
charge  on  his  account.  But  he  is  none  the  less  submitted  to 
all  the  obligations  imposed  on  men  with  the  colours.  He  must 
pass  at  certain  definite  periods  the  prescribed  examinations.  If 
after  one  year  he  does  not  satisfy  all  the  prescribed  examinations, 
he  is  obliged  to  remain  in  the  service  for  a  second  year,  according 
to  the  conditions  laid  down  by  the  regulations. 

It  being  distinctly  understood  that  in  case  of  war 'he  is  bound 
to  serve. 

The  volunteer  for  one  year,  wdio  has  fulfilled  all  the  examina- 
tions, may,  after  his  year  of  service,  obtain  his  rank  as  a  "sous- 
officer,''  or  a  certificate  of  capacity  for  an  employment  at  least 
equivalent,  and  he  can  only  be  recalled  as  provided  in  the  law  for 
the  regular  army,  the  territorial  army  and  their  reserves. 

Such  is  the  institution  of  volunteers  for  a  year  which  has  been 
adopted  by  all  the  nations  who  have  based  their  military  laws  on 


universal  compulsory  service  ;  in  some  respects  it  follows  from  that 

In  our  eyes  this  institution  is  as  favourable  to  socletv  as  it  is 
to  the  army. 

It  evidently  excites  younu;  men,  whatsoever  m:iy  ])e  the  career 
they  are  destined  for,  to  give  themselves  up  to  serious  study, 
knowing  that  they  must  personally  pay  their  debt  of  mditary 
service  to  the  country ;  they  will  see  that  it  is  much  better  for 
them  to  do  so,  during  peace  time  by  fullilling  conditions  such  as 
will  allow  them  to  continue,  or  but  slightly  interfere  with  studies 
which  qualify  them  for  their  chosen  career ;  further,  they  may  by 
application  abridge  their  period  of  service. 

Tiiis,  then,  will  be  an  encouragement  to  studious  youths,  and  in 
this  respect  society  will  be  a  gainer. 

As  regards  the  army,  thesrt  young  men  will  bring  into  the  ranks 
acquired  knowledge,  and  habits  of  application,  which  cannot  but 
insjjire  all,  and  more  especiallv  those  called  on  to  command  them, 
with  an  ardent  desire  for  selt-instruction,  lest  they  should  appear 
inferior  to  their  subordinates. 

The  presence  of  the  volunteers  for  a  year  cannot  therefore  but 
exercise  a  good  influence  on  the  intellectual  standard. 

When  the  defence  of  the  country  recalls  these  men  to  the 
r^inks,  they  come  detailed  beforehand  for  the  various  arms,  whose 
duty  they  know,  a  body  of  instructed  able  men  attached  to  the 
interests  of  the  country,  and  animated  by  those  elevated  sentiments 
vvhich  a  sound  education  invariably  produces. 

In  a  neighbouring  coimtry,  where  this  institution  has  for  many 
years  existed,  great  results  have  been  obtained. 

The  rules  there  in  force,  (which  deserve  to  l)e  carefully  studied,) 
show  what  care  is  bestowed  on  the  military  instruction  of  these 
young  volunteers. 

The  work  these  men  do,  the  examinations  to  which  they  are 
submitted  enables  them  to  be  of  great  utility  in  various  posi- 
tions and  in  the  different  arms  of  the  service  in  \^hich  they  are 

As  for  the  condition  imposed  on  the  volunteer  for  a  year  to 
support  the  cost  ofUiis  clothing,  equijDment  and  maintenance. 
This  is  not,  as  should  be  known,  the  price  of  tl.e  reduction  of 
his  time  of  service,  snice  he  remains  definitely  submitted  during 
all  the  time  fixed  by  the  law  to  the  obligations  it  prescribes. 

The  State  disposes  of  him  as  of  all  men  of  the  class  to  which 
he  belongs. 

Only  on  account  of  the  course  of  study  they  have  pursued, 
the  examinations  to  which  they  have  been  submitted  when  they 
are  engaged,  and  those  to  which  they  must  submit  before  quitting 
the  corps  in  which  they  are  enrolled,  the  law  admits  that  their 
military  instruction  may  be  more  rai)id,  but  it  compels  them  to 
produce  proofs  of  this,  and  in  jjeace  time  it  keeps  them  as  short 
a  time  under  the  colours  as  possible,  in  order  that  they  may  be 
employed  in  careers  useful  to  society. 

There  is  no  longer,  as  there  was  with  exoneration  and  substitu- 

D  2 


tion,  a  privilege  accorded  to  riches.  No,  for  riches  alone  cannot 
make  a  volunteer  for  a  year  by  our  law. 

Acquired  information,  useful  study,  not  wealthy  idleness,  are 
addressed  by  tliis  institution.  Its  object  is,  in  the  interests  of 
the  country,  to  offer  to  young  men  who  apply  themselves  to 
science,  arts  and  literature,  without  interfering  with  their  proposed 
careers,  a  means  of  acquiring  sufficient  military  knowledge  and  of 
paying  their  debt  to  the  army,  while  perhaps  it  may  inspire  some 
v.'ith  a  desire  of  attaching  themselves  permanently  to  the  army. 

We  are,  then,  justified  in  saying  that  this  institution  is  a  power- 
ful stimulant  to  serious  study. 

The  price  of  his  equipment  and  maintenance  paid  by  the 
volunteer  for  one  year,  is  thus  not  more  than  compensation  for 
the  inconvenience  and  expense  he  causes  the  army. 

Pursuing  these  ideas,  it  has  been  asked  if  it  is  not  desirable 
that  the  Minister  of  War  should  not  have  the  power  of  paying 
these  expenses  in  a  certain  number  of  cases,  for  young  men  who 
fulfil  all  other  conditions  of  the  law,  and  who  have  given  proof  of 
real  capacity. 

But  it  should  be  observed  that  this  would  be  in  a  certain 
sense  to  provide  bursaries,  and  that  this  is  the  proper  function  of 
the  parishes  and  departments,  and  that  they  should  provide  them 
for  especially  meritorious  subjects  who  belong  to  families  M'ith 
narrow  means,  but  that  it  would  be  improper  to  charge  the  mili- 
tary estimates  with  such  things,  for  the  young  men  who  would 
profit  by  them,  far  from  remaining  in  the  army,  would  seek  civil 

Lastly,  it  must  be  remembered  that  in  a  neighbouring  nation 
young  men,  pupils  in  colleges  at  the  cost  of  the  State,  purchase  in 
some  sort  this  l)enefit  by  serving  in  the  army  dovible  the  number 
of  years  which  they  have  spent  in  the  college ;  and  if  we  cannot 
adopt  this  plan  in  our  country,  at  least  we  should  do  nothing  con- 
trary to  the  spirit  of  such  legislation. 

Chapter  Y. 

Lastly,  the  project  contains  the  penal  regulations  requisite  to 
enforce  its  ordinances. 

These  are  almost  identical  with  the  actual  laws,  only  as  we 
attach  much  importance  to  the  esla])lishment  of  the  register  of 
which  Ave  have  spoken,  and  which  alone  will  enable  men  belong- 
ing to  the  regular  army  and  its  reserves  to  be  followed  throughout 
their  career,  we  are  desirous  that  these  men  should  be  bound  to 
notify  their  change  of  residence;  a  punishment  has  been  introduced 
for  any  infraction  of  this  rule.  A  new  punishment  has  been 
introduced  for  insul^ordination.  In  time  of  war,  the  name  of  an 
insubordinate  man  shall  be  posted  during  the  entire  war,  in  all  the 
parishes  of  the  district  where  he  is  domiciled ;  it  is  thus  to  a  feeling 
of  honour  that  we  are  desirous  of  appealing. 


At  the  same  time  we  seek  to  raise  the  intellectual  standard  of 
the  army,  by  asking  that  all  young  men  called  under  the  colours 
should  receive  in  their  regiments,  and  according  to  their  grades, 
the  instruction  determined  by  the  Minister  of  War. 

The  1st  January,  1873,  is  fixed  for  the  law  coming  into  force 
as  regards  the  regular  army. 

Nevertheless,  the  whole  class  called  in  1872  will  be  at  the  dis- 
posal of  the  Minister  of  War,  and  the  young  men  who  do  not  form 
the  portion  selected  by  the  Minister  for  ^^^ar,  and  enrolled  in  the 
various  corps,  shall  be  placed  in  the  reserve  of  the  regular  army 
in  place  of  forming  a  portion  of  tlie  National  Guard  "  Mobile,"  in 
accordance  with  the  law  of  1st  February,  1868. 

But  young  men  who  shall  have  been  placed,  or  who  belong  to 
the  National  Guard  "Mobile '■*  in  virtue  of  this  transition  state, 
must  undergo  such  drills  and  mancEuvres  as  nsay  be  directed,  in 
order  that  they  may  acquire  a  military  instruction  of  some  value. 

Lastly,  men  who  have  completed  the  period  of  service  demanded 
by  the  laws  of  the  empire  will,  M'ith  the  other  men  of  their  classes, 
be  enrolled  on  the  list  of  the  army  reserve,  until  they  reach  the 
age  of  29  ;  after  that  age,  in  the  territorial  army,  as  directed  by  the 

Such,  in  short,  gentlemen,  is  the  project  which  your  Committee 
submits  to  you. 

2nd  Division. 

As  you  have  doubtless  observed,  the  project  studiously  pre- 
serves every  portion  of  existijig  legislation  that  can  be  preserved, 
and  which  offers  no  obstacle  to  the  object  in  view,  making  only  svich 
alterations  as  the  custom  of  the  people  and  the  defence,  and  good 
order  of  tlie  country  demands. 

Thus,  you  will  observe,  in  all  that  relates  to  the  rules  for  taking 
the  census,  the  drawing  of  lots,  dispensations,  revision  of  the 
rules,  penalties,  &c.,  all  these  regulations  are  borrowed  from 
previous  laws,  to  the  application  of  which  we  are  accustomed  ;  the 
changes  that  have  been  introduced  explain  themselves,  and  we 
need  hardly  trouble  you  with  them. 

But  on  other  subjects,  as  you  have  no  doubt  remarked,  great 
alterations  are  proposed. 

Thus  the  contingent  fixed  by  the  annual  law  no  longer  leaves 
men  at  home  without  military  instruction.* 

*  Fixing  the  amount  of  tlie  coutiiigcnt  called  each  year,  as  was  clone  by  the  laws 
of  1830  and  1832  accordhig  to  the  foreseen  -wants  of  the  moment,  when  the  contin- 
gent is  voted,  produced  the  most  deplorable  inequahties  between  the  demands  made 
on  the  different  classes  called  out,  without  perhaps  satisfying  the  requirements  of  the 
service.  Thus,  when  the  contingents  of  80,000  men  were  succeeded  by  those 
of  l-iO,000  men  for  the  Crimean  war,  the  classes  which  furnished  them  gave  almost 
the  whole  of  the  men  capable  of  bearing  arms,  after  deducting  those  exempted  or 
dispensed  with,  while  the  other  classes  which  justly  should  have  helped  the  war  with 
an  equal  number,  since  these  contingents  were  stQl  under  the  colours,  were  called  on 
for  very  few  men.  In  1859  a  contingent  of  140,000  men  was  called.  It  was  incorpo- 
rated only  after  the  peace,  but  these  men  nevertheless  served  in  the  army  for 
seven  years.  This  is  what  has  made  a  Minister  for  War  say  "  Large  contingents 
correspond  often  to  periods  of  peace  ;  small  contingents  to  periods  of  war." 


The  entire  class  is  put  at  the  disposition  of  the  Minister  for 
War.  All  the  young  men  composing  it  are  enrolled  in  the 
various  corps;  all  must  receive  an  instruction,  at  least  sufficient 
to  enable  them,  when  the  country  is  in  danger,  to  take  their  places 
in  the  ranks  of  the  army,  and  to  bring  to  it  the  elements  of  a  con- 
siderable force. 

These  regulations  follow  as  a  consequence  of  the  principle  of 
imiversal  compulsory  service,  which  is  the  key  note  of  the  whole 
law,  it  is  true,  in  their  application  important  difficulties  and  the 
most  delicate  questions  must  be  raised. 

These  problems  ai-e  those  which  have  caused  the  longest  and 
deepest  discussion  in  your  Committee.  And  we  think  it  our  duty 
to  draw  your  attention  to  the  various  solutions  that  have  been 
brought  before  us. 

But  in  order  that  you  may  clearly  understand  this  subject,  and 
to  prevent  confusion,  it  is  requisite  to  fix  certain  data. 

In  France,  after  deducting  the  two  provinces  which  have  been 
taken  from  us,  the  average  number  of  voung  men  who  reach  the 
age  of  20  each  year  is  300,000  to  302,000. 

But  it  would  be  an  error  to  jump  to  the  conclusion  that  France 
has  300,000  young  men  aged  20  fit  each  year  for  active  service  ; 
unfortunately  this  is  not  the  case. 

If  the  report  furnished  by  the  Minister  for  War  be  carefully 
examined,  it  will  be  found  that  out  of  these  300,000  young  men 
more  than  65,000  are  exempted  on  account  of  physical  infirmity, 
9,000  for  want  of  proper  height,  and  the  other  exemptions,  pro- 
vided by  the  existing  law  exceed  60,000.  Lastly,  that  6,000 
individuals  are  left  at  home  as  indispensable  to  the  support  of  their 

That  before  the  class  is  finally  incorporated  the  loss  by  deaths, 
punishment,  and  desertions,  amounts  to  3,000 ;  so  that  the  class, 
allowance  l:)eing  made  for  these  deductions,  does  not  exceed  160,000 
capable  of  carrying  arms,  which  must  supply  the  men  for  the 


Table  showing  an  Analysis  of  a  Class  composed  of  the  gross 
number  o   302,0  !0  names. 

Average  strength  of  the  class 

1st.  Youug  men  exempted  for  physical  infirmity 
2nd.  Young  men  dispensed  with — 

1.  For  want  of  Jieight  (less  than  5  ft.  0^  in.). . 

2.  As  being  the  eldest  children  of  families    "1 

of orphans. .  ..  . .  . .  J 

3.  Sons  or  grandsons  of  widows 

4.  Sons  or  grandsons  of  persons  70  rears  of  1 

age,  or  blind         . .  .  . .  J 

5.  Younger  brothers  of  blind  or  crippled  men 

6.  Elder  of  two  bi  others  called  on  to  draw  ] 

lots  together,  and  both  selected  by  lot  J 

7.  Brothers  of  soldiers  under  tlic  coloui'S    . . 

8.  Brothers  of  soldiers  who  have  died  on"| 

active  se^wice,  or  when  on  furlough,  or  | 
allowed  pension  for  wounds  received  )■ 
on  duty,  or  for  infirmities  contracted  | 
wlien  serving  by  sea  or  land  . .  . .  J 

9.  Ah-eady  in  the  Army  or  Navy  by  virtue "] 

of  a  voluntary  engagement,  a  warrant,  > 
or  commission       . .  . .  . .  j 

10.  Enrolled  naval  conscripts  . . 

11.  Pupils  at  the  Polytechnic  . . 

12.  Employed  as  selioolmastcrs  or  vishers 

13.  Pupi  s  of  the  great  seminai-ies,  or  young"! 

men  who  are  about  to  become  clergy-  J- 
men  of  the  creeds  paid  by  the  State. .  J 

11.  Young  soldiers  left  at  home  by  the 
Councils  of  Eevision  as  being  the  sup- 
port of  a  family,  4  per  cent    . . 

15.  Losses  by  death,  punishment,  or  deser-"! 

Xumber  of  Men 
if  the  Class 
be  called  out 

in  its  inte;jrit}-. 








•  48,709 







5,600  ~] 

3,400  I 

94  j.  12,725J 
1,953  I 



tiou,  &c. 





Eemain  really  disposable,  of  which- 
The  Navy  requires 
The  Army 




Or,  in  round  numbers,  the  contingent  for  the  Army  will  be  150,000  men. 

Note. — No  change  is  proposed  as  regi  ds  any  of  these  dispensations  from  2  to  13 
except  that  those  who  are  to  be  schoolmasters  must  serve  one  year  with  the  colours 
or  in  a  mihtary  school. 

Doubtless,  the  law  which  we  propose  recognises  no  exemptions, 
but  those  which  render  a  man  incapable  of  all  military  service ;  but, 
as  we  have  already  said,  it  admits  as  causes  for  dispensations,  so 
long  as  those  causes  exist,  the  particular  sit'iatioiis  which  the 
existing  legislation  had  in  view  when  it  allowed  all  young  men  in 
those  situations  a  complete  release  from  military  service. 

These  dispensations  will,  it  is  true,  give  no  entire  release  from 
military  service;  those  who  obtain  them  must  be  drilled,  and  aro 
liable  to  be  called  on  in  case  of  war. 


But  it  is  not  therefore  requisite  to  increase  tlie  number  of 
young  men  in  each  class  who  join  the  a.Ymy  each  year.'-'^ 

And  while  we  believe  it  requisite  to  preserve  such  dispositions 
as  shall  allow  families  to  retain  the  young  men  who  are  in  a  gieat 
measure  their  support,  we  think  that  the  number  to  be  put  each 
year  at  the  disposal  of  the  War  Minister  cannot  be  placed  higher 
than  150,000  men. 

This  number  is  derived  from  official  documents,  and  we  have 
therefore  taken  it  as  the  basis  of  all  our  calculations^f  a"d  we  ask 
you  to  accept  it.  J 

*  These  men,  by  the  law  of  1868,  formed  a  portion  of  the  National  Guard 

+  Table  showing  the  number  of  young  soldiers  enrolled  or  who  might  have  been 
enrolled  in  the  contingent  of  the  class  of  1870,  wliich  is  composed  of  llie  entire 
number  of  healthy  young  men,  no  dispensations  being  granted  for  those  who  are  the 
support  of  families. 

Ain          ..  ..  1999 

Aisne       ..  ..  2397 

Allier       ..  ..  1764 

Alpes  (Basses)  . .  5G5 

Alpes  (Hautes)  . .  521 

Alpes  Maritimes  932 

Ardeche  . .  . .  1972 

Ardennes  ..  ]2:8 

Ariege      ..  ..  1318 

Aube       ..  ,.  989 

Aude       ..  ..  1379 

Aveyroii  . .  . .  1645 

Bouches  du  E  . .  1821 

Calvados  . .  . .  1713 

Cautal     ..  ..  1089 

Charente  . .  1543 

Chareute  luferieure  2044 

Cher         .„  ..  1855 

Correze    ..  ..  1390 

Corse       ..  ..  1184 

C6te  d'or. .  . .  1768 

Cotes  du  Nord  . .  2G00 

Ci-euse     ..  ..  1364 

Dordoguc  . .  2045 

Doubs      ..  ..  1385 

Dr&me     ..  ..  1599 

Eure        ..  ,.  1587 

Eure  et  Loir  . ,  1607 

Finistere  . .  . .  2456 

Gard        ..  ..  1804 

Garonne  (H)  ..  2142 

Gers         ..  ..  1046 

Gironde  ..  . .  3170 

Herault  ,.  ..  1727 

Ille  et  Villaine  . .  2673 

ludre       . .  . .  1141 

Indre  et  Loire  . .  1271 

Isere        ..  ..  2557 

•Tura         . .  . .  1255 

Laudes    . .  . .  1362 

Loir  et  Cher 






Yancluse . . 


Loire  (Haiitc)     . . 


Vendee    . . 


Loire  luferieure . . 


Vienne     . . 




Yienue  (11.) 




Yosges     , . 


Lot  et  Garonne  . . 




Lozere     . . 
Maine  et  Loire   . . 


Total    ..             1 


Manchc    . . 




Deduct         losses 

Marno  (Haute)  . . 


when  tlie  con- 

Mayenne. . 


tingent         was 

Mem-the  et  M.    . . 


ordered  to  join 




Remain  . .      1 






On     account     of 



vrar           many 



young  men  has- 

Pas de  Calais 


tened         their 

Puy  de  Dome 


time  of  service, 

Pyrenees  (B.) 


on  this  aceomit 

Pyrenees  (H.) 


the    contingent 

Pyrenees  (Orient) 


was    increased, 





Saone  (H.)  et      . . 



Belfort     . . 


Total    ..             162,685 

Saone  et  Loii-e    . . 


Sarthe      . . 


The    number    of 



men         would 

Savoie  (H.) 


have    been   in- 



creased   if    the 

Seine  luferieure  .  . 


standard      had 

Seine  et  Marne  . . 


been      lowered 

Seine  et  Oise 


one-third  of  an 

Sevi-es  (Deux)     . . 





1641  • 

►  JL'IllllJ.L.          •   ■                      ,   , 


Men     really  1   , , 

■*r^  oo^ 

Tarn  et  Gar 


disposable  1  ^^^'^-^ 

Deduct  8,000  men  for  the  navy  and  there  remains  for  the  army  157,337.  This 
muuber  would  be  reduced  however  to  150,000  if  6,000  men,  the  number  of  young 
men  who  received  dispensations  as  being  supporters  of  famihes,  being  deducted. 

t  It  is  further  confirmed  by  the  number  of  the  class  of  1870,  which  was  entirely 
enrolled.     Vide  the  preceding  table. 


It  must  also  be  observed  that  the  army  includes  a  great  number 
of  men  who  are  not  recruited  by  such  enrolments,  and  who  must 
be  taken  into  account.  This  number  is  composed  of  the  officers 
and  men  of  the  administrative  corps,  the  staff  of  the  artillery  and 
engineers,  as  well  as  the  gendarmes,  those  who  have  engaged  or 
re-engaged  voluntarily,  the  foreign  corps,  &c.,  &c.  This  perma- 
manent  portion  of  the  army,  wliich  embraces  the  greater  portion 
of  the  cadres,  was  largely  increased  l)y  the  action  of  the  law  of 
.1855,  which  granted  bounties  for  engagements  and  re  engagements, 
vide  page  8  of  the  first  portion  of  this  report,  but  restrained  by 
the  limits,  while  we  propose,  this  portion  of  the  armj'-  will  embrace 
at  all  times  at  least  100,000  to  120,000  men. 

If  for  the  future,  as  aj^pears  desiral)le,  the  gendarmes  be  not 
counted  as  a  portion  of  the  effective  strength  of  the  army.* 

It  is  requisite  to  get  rid  of  the  false  impression  created  by  the 
high  numbers  borne  on  the  war  estimates,  and  which  in  reality 
include  a  great  number  of  non-combatants  or  men  intended  for 
police  purpose,  the  cost  of  whom  should  not  be  charged  to  army 

However  this  may  be,  let  us  assume  the  results  as  they  now. 

100,000  to  120,000  men  composing  the  permanent  portion  of 
the  army,  150,000  young  men  capable  of  active  service,  placed  each 
year  at  the  disposition  of  the  War  INIinister  :  this  is  the  point  of 
departure  from  which  the  army  must  be  formed. 

If,  therefore,  on  the  one  hand,  all  the  men  of  each  class  are 
compelled  to  enter  the  army  each  year,  and  remain  there  the 
same  time,  and  if,  on  the  other,  the  effective  strength  of 
430,000  to  460,000  men  with  the  colours  must  not  be  exceeded, 
it  will  follow  that  each  class  can  be  kept  only  two  years  in  the 

*  Table  showing  the  existuig  efFectire  strength  of  that  portion  of  tlio  Army  not 
proTidecl  for  by  enrohnents. 





g  ^^ 
















1.  Officers 










2.  Departmental  Gendarmes     



3.  Volunteers  for  five  years      








4.  Ee-engaged  men        








5.  Native   troops,     Tirailleurs,     and ) 
Spatris         S 




fi.  roreign  Coi-ps 



7.  Soldiers  retained  under  the  'jolours~^ 
beyond  their  period  of  services  V 
as  a  punishment           j 








S.  Employe's  of  the  Artiiioryand  En-'^ 

gineers,  workmen  engaged  or  >• 









commissioned     ...         ) 











t  The  Eepubhcan  Guard  of  Paris,  numbering  5,840,  one-half  the  cost  of  which 
is  paid  for  by  the  War  Offio-,  is  not  inchided  in  these  figures. 


Now,  gentlemen,  granting  that  by  means  of  well-directed 
labour  it  were  possible  to  instruct  and  give  a  military  education 
to  a  soldier  in  a  year  or  18  months,  which,  for  special  services,  is 
more  than  doulnful — 

It  is  evident — 

1st.  That  the  men  of  each  class  would  return  to  their  homes 
at  the  very  moment  when  they  would  be  the  best  fitted 
to  render  iiood  service. 

2nd.  That  sufficient  cadres  would  be  almost  impossible  to 
form,  if  not  formed  by  men  other  than  those  belonging 
to  the  contingents. 

3rd.  Tliat  under  these  conditions  the  army  would  be  only  a 
great  school  where  young  men  could  be  trained ; 
but  would  not  constitute  that  permanent  and  power- 
fully organized  force  which  it  is  desirable  that  this 
country  should  possess. 

Thus  we  are  connpelled  to  seek  some  combination  that  will 
satisfy  both  these  demands  :  — 

*  1st.  To    have  and    to    keep   in   the   army    men    completely 

trained  to  the  trade  of  arms. 
2nd.  To  enrol  a  large  number  of  men  to  whom  a  sufficient 
military  instruction  may  be  given. 

Here  let  us  for  one  moment  pause,  for  this  is  t^e  point 
where  divergency  of  opinion  is  produced,  and  upon  which  we  must 
explain  ourselves  as  clearly  as  possible. 

Without  going  back  to  the  periods  when,  even  in  the  greatest 
battles,  men  fought  in  some  sort  hand  to  hand,  and  when  arms, 
skill,  and  the  force  of  each  individual  was  of  the  greatest  import- 
ance, it  is  a  recognized  fact,  if  modern  wars  are  reviewed,  that 
since  the  introduction  of  firearms  each  improvement  in  arms, 
each  improvement  in  the  material  state  of  a  country,  has  modified 
not  only  the  conditions  of  war,  but  also  the  relative  importance  of 
the  man  as  a  fighting  unit. 

According  as  arms  are  improved,  and  their  range  increased, 
the  means  of  communication  improved,  and  transport  becomes 
easier,  and  the  transmission  of  intelligence  more  easy  and  rapid, 
armies  become  more  numerous.  On  the  one  hand,  the  genius,  the 
knowledge  of  the  leaders,  and  the  preparation  for  war  becomes 
of  more  importance ;  on  the  other,  the  importance  of  each  com- 
batant diminishes. 

It  has  been,  therefore,  justly  said,  the  factor  that  must  be 
given  to  numbers  has  increased  with  civilization,  while  the  factor 
to  be  assigned  to  the  value  of  each  individual  unit  is  reduced  in 
the  same  propt/rtion.* 

Shall  we  say,  then,  that  number?;  will  suffice?  No  ;  we  cannot 
too  often  repeat.  No ;  for  if  the  progress  in  all  branches  of  the  art 

•  By  this  it  is  not  meant  that  less  courage  and  energy  ai'e  needed  in  the  soldier, 
but  only  that  the  importance  of  each  individual  s  less. 

of  war  requires  a  greater  soience,  more  profound  study  on  the  part 
of  those  who  command,  it  demands  still  more  loudly,  a  sufficient 
instruction,  with  the  gi'eatest  discipline,  on  the  part  of  those  who 
ought  to  oliey. 

Let  us  bainsh,  then,  these  dangerous  theories. 
But  let  us  also  get  rid  of  another  delusion,  and,  perhaps,  a 
more  dangerous  one,  which  is,  that  in  the  actual  state  of  the 
military  forces  of  the  various  nations  in  Europe,  we  can  afford 
to  have  an  army  strongly  organized  and  composed  of  old  soldiers, 
but  the  number  of  which  cannot,  on  a  given  day,  be  largely  in- 
creased by  men  already  prepared. 

In  our  opinion,  viewing  this  vSubject  entirely  from  a  military 
standpoint  of  view,  that  although  it  would  be  a  profound  error 
in  the  formation  of  an  army  not  to  appreciate  at  its  true  value 
the  quality  of  the  troops,  it  would  be  an  error  quite  as  fatal  not 
to  consider  their  number. 

Gentlemen,  this  is  the  problem. 

The  first  point  to  settle  is,  evidently,  the  time  requisite  to 
make  a  soldier  and  non-commissioned  officer? 

You  can  understand  that  no  absolute  reply  can  be  given  to, 
this  question,  for  the  time  must  be  longer  or  shorter,  according  to 
the  arm  of  the  service,  according  to  the  greater  or  less  intelligence 
of  the  man,  according  to  his  said  position,  and  the  instruction  that 
he  has  received  prior  to  his  joining  the  corps. 

Lastly,  and  this  is  most  important  to  remark,  this  period  is 
longer  or  shorter  according  to  the  amount  of  superintendence 
given  b)'  the  chief,  and  the  zeal  that  he  has  thrown  into  his  work. 
Your  Committee  has  debated  this  subject  seriously.  On  one  side 
it  has  been  remarked  that  military  instruction  was  not  everything 
for  the  soldier ;  the  importance  of  military  education  was  quite 
as  great,  and  that  the  latter  requires  a  longer  period.  It  has  been 
said,  that  amongst  men,  in  some  sort  disciplined  beforehand,  in 
a  society  where  distinctions  of  rank  are  well  marked,  this  education 
may  be  more  rapid  than  with  us,  and  that  it  is  requisite  that  we 
should  not  allow  ourselves  to  be  induced  to  place  the  limit  of 
our  service  too  low,  lest  we  weaken  the  army. 

On  the  other  hand,  instances  have  been  adduced  where  the 
bearing  and  courage  of  men  has  been  acknowledged  by  everyone, 
and  who,  after  a  short  period,  have  been  completely  moulded  (thanks 
to  the  continual  care  that  has  been  bestowed  on  them)  to  the  duties 
to  which  they  were  called.* 

We  have  observed  in  several  nations  that  have  recently  intro- 
duced great  alterations  into  their  military  organization  the  length 
of  service  does  not  exceed  three  years  in  the  regular  army,  and 
four  to  seven  in  the  reserve,  that  four  years  have  been  deemed 
sufficient  for  the  special  arms  to  whom  special  advantages  were 

Lastly,  it  has  been  asked  why  our  soldiers,  who  are  as  intelli- 

*  The  Marine  Light  Infantrv  formed  the  Battalion  do  Loriert  in  less  than  one 


gent  as  those  of  other  nations,  should  require  a  longer  time  to 
train.  It  has  therefore  been  proposed  that  the  time  during  which 
they  should  belong  to  the  regular  army  should  be  fixed  at  three 

As  this  proposition  was  not  adopted,  four  years  was 
named;  but  the  majority  of  your  Committee  did  not  concur, 
nevertheless,  having  carefully  examined  the  facts  of  the  case, 
after  studying  what  the  ablest  men  have  written  on  this 
subject,  lastly,  having  studied  what  has  taken  place  amongst 
neighbouring  nations,  the  Conunittee  has  considered  that  the 
period  during  which,  under  the  regulations  of  the  law  of  1868,  men 
should  belong  to  the  regular  army  should  be  that  laid  down  in 
the  law  of  1868  as  a  maximum,  which  will  allow  the  army  to  have 
the  elements  of  a  powerful  organization.* 

As  we  pointed  out  in  the  first  portion  of  this  report,  the 
length  of  service  has  been  fixed  as  follows :  — 

By  the  law  of  the  year  VI,  which  proclaimed  the  principle 
of  universal  service,  at  5  years. 

By  the  law  of  1818,  for  the  contingent  (the  rest  of  the  class 
being  entirely  free),  at  six  years  in  the  army  and  six  in 
the  reserve. 

By  the  law  of  1824,  at  eight  years  for  the  contingent, 
divided  into  two  portions,  of  which  one-half  remained 
at  home. 

By  the  law  of  1832,  at  seven  years  for  the  contingent, 
similarly  divided  into  two  portions. 

Lastly,  by  the  law  of  1868,  for  the  contingent,  at  five  years 
in  the  regular  army  and  four  years  in  the  reserve,  and 
for  that  portion  of  the  class  not  included  in  the  con- 
tingent, at  five  years  in  the  National  Guard  "  Mobile." 

In  1828,  the  Infantry  Committee  of  the  Superior  Council  of 
"War  proposed — 

1st.  To  divide  France  into  great  military  districts,  subdivided 

into  regimental  districts. 
2nd.  To  pass    each    contingent  in    succession    through    the 

.3rd.  To   send  on  indefinite  leave   all  young  soldiers    after 

three  years'  service. 
4th.  To  have  depot  battalions,  whose  function  should  be  to 

collect  these  young  soldiers ;  at  certain  periods  to  train, 

inspect,  and  confirm  the  military  habits  acquired  in  the 

regular  battalions. 

The  following  is  the  text  of  this  report,  which  is  to  be  found  in 
the  archives  of  the  War  Office,  and  which  at  tlic  present  day  is  of 
much  interest : — 

*   Vide  The  Army  according  to  Ihe  scheme  of  General  Morand. 


"  Meeting  of  the  Wth  At/f/ust,  1828. 

"  The  Comir.ittee  is  of  oiDiniou  tliat  instruction  cannot  be  pro- 
perly given  except  Avith  the  colours  to  the  whole  of  the  soldiers. 
That  for  this  purpose  the  entire  class  (that  is  to  saj-,  the  con- 
tingents fixed  by  the  law  of  1824)  should  be  enrolled  in  succession, 
and  then  sent  on  indefinite  leave,  so  that  the  peace  strength  of  the 
army  should  be  composed  of  the  youngest  classes,  and  the  war 
strength  of  the  classes  nearest  their  time  of  liberation.  This 
proposal,  which  is  preferable,  as  giving  better  instruction,  is  also 
that  which  gives  the  greatest  economy. 

"  The  Committee  is  fuither  of  opinion  that  the  men  sent  on 
indefinite  leave  should  be  assembled  each  year  for  short  periods, 
and  that  this  duty  can  only  be  performed  by  cadres  belonging  to 
the  regiments  of  the  regular  army. 

"  Lastly,  to  decrease  the  expense  caused  by  the  great  number  of 
men  that  must  be  sent  each  year  under  the  colours  and  returned 
again  to  their  homes,  and  to  restrict  the  expense  produced  by 
short  trainings,  as  also  to  facilitate  such  trainings,  it  appears  indis- 
pensable that  the  kingdom  should  be  divided  into  five  great  divi- 
sions, in  each  of  which  a  certain  number  of  regiments  proportionate 
to  the  population  and  barracks  would  recruit  and  occupy  in  turn  the 
different  garrison  towns.  These  military  districts  to  be  divided 
into  regimental  districts  for  the  assembly  of  men  on  indefinite  leave. 

"  The  conditions  requisite  for  the  instruction  of  the  entire  force 
being  fulfilled  by  sending  entire  classes  beneath  the  colours ;  the 
time  during  which  they  should  remain  there  to  acquire  a  solid 
instruction  and  good  military  habits  must  next  be  determined. 

"  The  Committee  is  of  opinion  that  about  three  vears  is  requisite 
for  this  purpose,  and  that  after  that  period  the  soldiers  may  pass 
to  the  war  contingent. 

^'  Approved  by  Monseigneur  the  Dauphin,  Marshal  Mnrmont, 
Marshal  Molitor,  Lieut. -Generals  Reille,  Rogniat,  Valee,  Bordes- 
souUe,  Ruty,  Girardin,  Bourmont,Loverdo,  Pelleport,  d'Ambruseac; 
the  Intendants,  Denniee,  et  Ragnault ;  the  Major-General  Saint 
Alphonse."—  F7'077i  the  archives  of  the  War  Office. 

In  the  North  German  Confederation,  by  the  law  of  the 
9th  November,  1867,  the  length  o!"  service  is  three  years  in  the 
ranks,  four  in  the  reserve,  and  five  in  the  Landwehr. 

The  Landstrum  embraces  all  men  from  17  to  42,  who  belong 
neither  to  the  army  nor  navy. 

Three  years  appearing  insufficient  for  the  Cavalrv,  special 
advantages  are  off'ered  to  retain  under  the  colours  as  manv  men  as 
possible  for  another  year. 

In  the  Austro-Hungarian  Monarchy,  the  law  of  the  5th 
December,  1868,  fixes  the  duration  of  service  at  three  years  in  the 
ranks,  seven  in  the  reserve,  and  two  in  the  Landwehr  for  men  who 
join  it  after  completing  their  period  of  service  in  the  regular  army 
and  reserves,  12  years  for  those  men  who  are  incorporated  directly 
into  the  Landwehr. 

If,  then,  we  have  accepted  a  service  of  five  years  for  the  law 


\^liicli  we  propose,  it  is,  we  must  acknowledge,  with  the  view  that 
the  army  may  have  always  at  its  disposal  four  classes  of  trained 
men,  as  we  shall  shortly  explain,  and  not  with  the  idea  that  the  men 
should  remain  with  their  corps  for  five  years.  It  \\ill  rest  with  the 
War  Offi  e  to  arrange,  according  to  the  arms  of  the  service,  the 
wants  of  the  army,  the  instruction  that  has  hcen  acquired,  and  the 
financial  resources,  the  incorporation  and  maintenance  of  tlie 
effective  of  each  class  and  the  sending  of  the  men  on  furlough ; 
so  as  to  keep  for  the  special  arms  and  for  the  cadres  everything 
that  is  requisite  that  they  should  possess,  to  give  a  ]:)owerful 
or""anization  to  the  army,  and  at  the  same  time  to  instruct  the 
greatest  numher  of  young  men. 

Lastly,  gentlemen,  in  examining  this  important  question,  we 
have  considered  carefully  the  transition  state  in  which  every  country 
that  alters  the  law  of  recruiting  and  organization  of  its  military  forces 
must  for  some  years  be  placed. 

Doubtless  we  have  faith,  as  we  have  already  said,  in  the  principles 
which  pervade  our  law  ;  we  have  faith  in  our  country.  It  is  aware 
of  the  enegy,  the  sacrifices,  requisite  to  save  it  from  decay.  Its 
misfortunes  have  reanimated  its  patriotism. 

But  this  new  education  given  to  our  young  men,  and  which 
will  prepare  them  so  well  we  hope  for  all  that  the  country  expects, — 
this  education  begins  tardily  ;  time  is  requisite  for  it  to  bear  fruit ; 
time  is  requisite  that  the  people  should  understand  the  interest 
they  have  in  acquiring  military  knowledge  before  entering  tiie  army. 
Every  day  the  minds  of  men  will  more  and  more  get  used  to 
this  idea;  young  men  will  jon  the  army  more  and  more  prepared 
beforehand,  knowing  much  that  it  is  requisite  to  teach  them,  and 
thus,  being  more  quickly  able  to  be  of  use,  they  will  be  able  to 
return  home  more  quickly,  whilst  they  may  be  as  useful  to  the 
army  as  if,  like  soldiers  more  dithcult  to  teacli,  they  had  remained 
with  the  colours  a  longer  time. 

But  while  these  results  are  being  awaited,  it  is  requisite  to 
give  certain  powers  which  will  be  used  less  each  year,  and  thus 
to  take  account  of  an  actual  state  of  things,  which  in  the  future 
will  have  no  existence,  save  to  fix,  as  you  will  see,  the  number 
of  instructed  classes  of  which  the  regular  army  accorchng  to  our 
ideas  should  consist. 

But  what  progress  soever  our  social  customs  mav  make,  from 
these  various  points  of  view,  whatever  may  be  the  aptitude,  the 
preparation  of  the  young  men  at  the  moment  they  are  enrolled,  it 
is  perfectly  certain  that  they  will  not  all  remain  under  the  colours 
for  the  same  length  of  time.  The  special  arms,  for  example,  require 
longer  service ;  the  necessities  of  the  army  itself  produce  too  great 
differences  between  the  various  sicualions  in  which  young  men 
entering  the  army  find  themselves. 

Thus,  gentlemen,  on  the  one  side  it  is  impossible,  without 
enfeebling,  without  disorganizing  the  army,  to  keep  the  young  men 
of  each  class  only  two  years  with  the  colours. 

It  is  equally  impossible  to  keep  them  longer  without  having 
too  numerous  an  arm  v. 


On  the  other  hand^  it  is  al)solutely  requisite  to  keep  in  the 
army  a  certain  number  of  men  during  a  period  sufficiently  h)ng  to 
have  solid  cadres,  and  to  satisfy  the  requirements  of  the  special  arms. 

There  is  an  equal  necessity  to  instruct  the  largest  possible 
numlier  of  young  soldiers. 

Hence  some  meai  s  must  be  adopted  to  determine  who  wiil 
have  to  serve  in  the  various  conditions  entailed  by  the  force  of 
these  circumstances. 

The  simplest  method  to  adopt  for  this  purpose  is  that  which 
the  people  ah-eady  know,  that  is  to  say,,  the  numeral  order  assigned 
to  each  by  the  ballot. 

This  custom  comes  to  us  from  a  very  early  date,  it  being  that 
used  under  the  old  monarchy  for  the  enrolment  of  recruits  in  the 
provincial  militia. 

It  is  that  adopted  after  the  law  of  the  year  VI  had  submitted 
to  compulsory  service  all  the  young  men  of  20  to  25  years  of  age ; 
in  place  of  enrolling,  as  had  been  proposed,  the  youngest  men  of 
each  class,  it  was  determined  as  more  just  to  select  them  by  lot. 

This  is  also  the  way  the  laws  of  recruiting  of  1818  and  1832 
have  prescribed  the  composition  of  the  contingents  placed  at  the 
disposal  of  the  Minister  of  V\'ar;  complaints  of  its  action  have 
never  been  raised.  Nevertheless,  under  the  agency  of  these  laws, 
the  difference  between  the  situations  of  men  drawing  different 
numbers  has  been  far  greater  than  that  proposed  by  oui  law,  some 
having  to  serve  seven  years,  others  being  freed  from  all  military 

With  the  law  now  under  discussion  such  inequalities  cannot 
take  place;  all  young  men  of  each  class  form  a  portion  of  the 
regular  army  or  its  reserves  for  the  same  period.  The  only 
difference  that  can  arise  is  from  men  being  sent  into  the  various 
arms  of  the  service,  and  the  necessity  of  their  serving  longer  in 
certain  regiments  in  order  to  satisfy  the  exigencies  of  good  military 

The  Bill,  therefore,  proposes  to  do  what  is  simplest,  most 
just,  and  most  conformable  to  our  customs,  by  directing  that  the 
various  destinations  of  the  men  be  settled  by  lot,  a  method 
well  understood  by  the  people,  and  in  accordance  with  their 

But  as  other  solutions  of  this  difficult  problem,  have  been 
proposed  and  discussed  at  great  length  by  your  Committee,  it  is 
requisite  that  they  should  be  brought  to  your  notice. 

Amongst  others,  two  systems  have  been  brought  before  the 
Committee  which  have  been  much  discussed. 

Both  concur  with  the  Bill  under  discussion  in  requiring  com- 
pulsory personal  militarv  service. 

Both  admit  that  in  tlie  constitution  of  our  army  it  is  impossible, 
especially  for  the  special  services  and  the  cadres,  to  require  only 
two  years'  service  with  the  colours. 

Both  provide  that  all  the  men  of  each  class,  who  are  not  unfit 
for  military  service,  should  form  a  portion  of  the  regular  army, 
and  be  placed  at  the  disposal  of  the  Minister  for  War,  and  should 


all  be  enrolled  on  the  registers  of  various  corps,  and  whether  or 
not  with  the  colours  should  belong  to  the  regular  army  during  the 
same  period. 

These  are  important  points  which  it  is  requisite  to  give  in 
detail,  as  upon  them  the  Committee  is  unanimous. 

But  after  that  a  divergence  of  opinion  begins. 

One  of  these  systems  does  not  deem  it  requisite  that  all  the 
young  men  of  a  class  should  receive  military  instruction ;  it  is 
content  with  enrolling  them  in  the  various  corps ;  it  seeks  to 
incorporate  only  a  certain  number  of  men  wlio  should  serve 
during  the  time  fixed  by  the  law,  unless  sent  on  furlough  as  now 
takes  place  with  the  actual  law. 

Thus  it  is  only  the  first  portion  of  the  class  which  really 
undergoes  military  service  ;  as  for  the  other,  doubtless,  it  is  not 
freed  entirely  as  by  the  law  of  1832,  neither  is  it  sent  into  the 
National  Guard  Moble  as  the  law  of  1868  directs,  but  it  remains 
at  home,  only  each  man  is  always  at  the  disposal  of  the  War 
Minister,  either  for  reviews  or  drill,  or  for  service  in  the  auxiliary 
branches  ;  in  short,  if  he  is  required  for  the  army  he  may  be  sent 
either  definitely  or  temporarily  into  the  corps  in  which  he  is  enrolled. 

The  selection  of  the  men  forming  the  first  portion  of  the  class 
incorporated  with  the  army  is  made  by  means  of  the  numbers 
drawn  in  each  parish,  and  according  to  a  fixed  proportion  ;  it  is 
similarly  by  the  order  of  tlie  numbers  that  men  are  called,  if  the 
second  portion  of  the  class,  is  required. 

The  Honourable  General  Ducrot,  who  has  made  this  proposal, 
has  conceived  it  in  the  following  terms : — 

"  Aii.  40.  All  the  young  men  of  the  class  called  who  are  not 
"  exempted  on  account  of  infirmitj'',  or  whose  services  are 
*•'  not  dispensed  with  in  accordance  with  the  provisions 
"  of  this  law,  who  have  not  obtained  overslaughs,  or  who 
"  are  not  told  oft'  for  the  navy,  form  a  portion  of  the 
"  regular  army,  and  are  placed  at  the  disposal  of  the  War 
"  Minister. 

'•  They  are  all  enrolled  in  various  corps. 

"  Art.  41.  Each  year  the  War  Minister  fixes  the  number  of 
'•  men  to  be  incorporated  with  the  army  according  to  the 
"  requirements  of  the  service  and  the  money  allowed  in 
^'  the  estimates. 

"  The  selection  is  made  by  the  numbers  drawn  in  each 
"  parish  from  the  first  portion  of  the  parish  recruiting 
"  list,  as  determined  by  the  above  decision. 

"  Art.  42.  Young  men  not  immediately  incorporated  are 
''  allowed  to  remain  at  home,  but  are  always  at  the 
"  disposal  of  the  Minister  of  War,  either  for  roll  calls, 
"  for  assemblies  and  drill,  or  for  being  specially  employed 
"  in  certain  auxiliary  branches  of  the  srmy  as  doctors, 
"  surgeons,  veterinary  surgeons,  survej'orSj  telegraphists, 
*'  armourers,  or  mechanics  of  any  kind. 

'•'  All  may  be  embodied  temporainly  or  entirely  into  the 


"  corps  to  whicli  they  belong,  every  time  the  servic^ 
"  requires  them,  but  always  in  the  order  of  tiie  number 
"  of  each  class." 

This  system,  the  Honourable  General  who  brought  it  forward, 
and  whose  opinion  had  great  weight,  informed  the  Committee 
was  very  similar  to  that  in  force  in  a  neighbouring  nation,  who, 
from  the  impossibility  that  exists  of  compelling  every  man  to 
pass  three  years  with  the  colours,  leaves  at  home  the  men  who 
cannot  be  included  in  the  contingent.  They  are  called  up  the 
following  or  some  ether  year,  but  it  does  not  the  less  follow  that 
some  receive  no  military  education,  except  when  called  upon  to 
fill  the  gaps  or  in  case  of  war. 

This  is,  doubtless,  true,  but  there  is  a  fact  that  has  not  been 
given  sufficient  weight  to :  it  is,  that  the  nation  to  which  he 
referred  was  composed  of  18,000,000  in  i860,  and  nevertheless 
called  up  63,000  men  who  remained  not  less  than  three  years  with 
the  colours. 

Consequently  the  number  of  men  who  received  no  military 
education  must  have  been  very  slight,  if  we  grant  that  the  exemp- 
tion, dispensations  and  overslaughs  are  given  in  anything  like  the 
same  proportion  as  with  us. 

If,  then,  it  is  desired  to  establish  conditions  similar  to  those  to 
which  allusion  has  been  made,  it  will  be  seen  that  the  number  of 
men  actually  incorporated  must  be  greater.'^  But  in  order  that 
this  may  be  the  case,  the  length  of  service  must  be  much  reduced, 
and  that  the  proposal  does  not  admit ;  the  number  of  men  incorpo- 
rated each  year  with  the  army  must  be  smaller  the.  longer  the  men 
are  kept  with  the  corps,  and  the  result  of  such  a  system  would  be 
that  hardly  one-half  of  each  class  could  be  called  under  the 

Doubtless,  thanks  to  volunteers  for  one  year,  which  form  a 
portion  of  all  systems,  a  greater  number  of  young  men  than  what 
we  have  pointed  out  would  receive  military  instruction.  Doubtless, 
also,  by  clearing  the  ranks  by  furloughs  and  sending  the  entire  class 
home  on  the  completion  of  the  fourth  year,  it  would  be  possible 
to  incorporate  greater  numbers.  But  the  other  portion,  still 
very  numerous,  would  remain  uninstructed,  for,  according  to  the 
Honourable  General,  it  is  only  at  the  moment  when  these  men 
are  called  on  that  they  would  be  drilled  or  put  in  a  situation  to 
render  service  to  the  State. 

Your  Committee,  gentlemen,  whilst  acknowledging  that  the 
system  under  discussion  is  preferable  to  that  existing  at  present, 
since  it  proposes  that  all  the  young  men  of  the  class  should  be  at 
the  disposal  of  the  Minister  for  War  and  should  be  enrolled  in 
various  corps,  is  yet  unable  to  accept  it. 

In  our  country,  which  has  not  yet  formed  the  habits  which 
spring  from  the  application  of  the  principle  of  universal  service,  it 

*  If  with  a  population  of  18  million -i,  cacli  year  there  are  63,000  young  men  to  be 
incorporated  and  eduimted  iinder  the  cokiirs,  with  a  population  of  36  niiilious  the 
number  shoiUd  be  126,000. 



is  to  be  feared  that  owing  to  the  power  of  leaving  a  portion  of  the 
class  at  liome,  without  any  military  instruction,  it  is  to  be  feared 
that  the  errors  of  the  past  would  soon  again  spring  up 

From  a  natural  feeling,  perhaps  from  strong  convictions,  the 
commandants  of  corps  and  the  military  administration  would  seek 
to  keep  men  as  long  as  possible  with  the  colours,  and  the  number 
of  men  incorporated  in  place  of  increasing,  and  length  of  service 
in  place  of  decreasing,  as  the  military  spirit  and  instruction  of  the 
country  increases  would,  in  all  probability,  remain  stationary. 

The  second  portion  of  the  class  would  by  degrees  escape  all 
obligations,  aud  its  situation  would  be  so  different  from  that  of  the 
first  portion;  that  it  would  become  disgusting  to  the  people,  who 
as  a  consequence  would  demand  substitution. 

Lastly,  when  in  the  hour  of  danger  it  became  requisite  to  call 
on  this  second  portion  of  the  class  it  would  be  by  no  means 
prepared.  It  would  be  only  what  the  National  Guard  Mobile  was 
in  accordance  with  the  laws  of  1868.  It  was  neither  equipped  nor 
instructed  ;  it  possessed  nothing;  much  time  elapsed  before  it  could 
be  utilized,  meantime  the  country  suffered  fearfully. 

This  would  be  exactly  what  the  second  portion  of  the  con- 
tingent would  be  if  untrained. 

Your  Committee  ask,  the  whole  idea  of  the  law  is  that  all 
young  men  fit  for  military  service  should  be  clothed,  armed  and 
taught.  All  will  pass  a  time  in  the  ranks,  longer  or  shorter,  on 
account  of  the  requirements  of  the  army;  but,  first,  all  will  come 
there  to  obtain  military  instruction,  in  order  that  in  the  future 
they  may  all  also  seek  and  find  the  means  ready  prepared  to 
make  them  useful. 

The  second  proposal  has  been  made  by  the  Generals  Chanzy, 
Chareton,  Loysel,  Des  Pallieres  and  Billot;  in  one  sense  it  differs 
less  from  what  we  ask  you  to  adopt. 

According  to  this  proposal  young  men  who  wish  to  serve  in 
the  special  services,  and  who  prove  that  they  are  suitable  for  them, 
are  to  be  admitted  at  once  when  the  lots  are  drawn  ;  it  is  only  if 
un  insufficient  number  volunteer  for  these  services  that  young  men 
of  the  class  are  to  be  detailed  according  to  their  fitness  and  in  order 
of  number. 

By  this  proposal  the  entire  class  must  pass  through  the  ranks; 
it  is  acknowledged,  precisely  as  in  the  Bill,  that  a  portion  only  can 
serve  for  one  year,  but  in  place  of  selecting  this  port'on  before  the 
class  enters  the  army  it  is  detailed  at  the  termination  of  a  year's 

Then  the  men  sent  home  are  taken  exclusively  from  amongst 
those  who  can  read  and  write,  and  are  the  best  educated ;  these 
men  being  selected  by  lot. 

So  far  as  allowing  the  young  men  to  select  the  arms  of  the 
service  they  prefer  to  join  there  can  be  no  difficulty  about  that, 
it  is  what  is  usually  done.  It  appears  but  natural  that  when  the 
lists  are  revised,  and  the  various  aptitudes  are  known,  that  the 
young  men  should  do  this. 

Wc  have  mserted  a  special  article  (Article  29)  for  this  purpose. 


But  we  aclinnwledge  we  feel  some  hesitation  to  insert  in  the 
law  an  article  which,  in  case  a  sufiicient  number  of  voung  men  did 
not  volunteer  for  the  special  arms,  would  detail  them  for  that  pur- 
pose by  the  numbers  they  have  drawn  and  their  special  aptitude, 
for  the  following  reason. 

When  the  question  of  recruiting  is  dealt  with,  it  is  desirable 
that  everything  should  be  clear  and  precise,  that  both  privileges 
and  duties  should  be  clearly  defined,  so  that  no  disputes  can 
possibly  arise  on  the  application  of  this  rule. 

See  when  it  is  requisite  to  pronounce  on  the  causes  of  exemp- 
tion, that  is  to  say,  to  make  that  on  which  the  fate  of  men  depends 
clear ;  see  how  our  laws  surround  the  councils  of  revision  with 
precautions  which  is  necessary,  in  order  that  all  requisite  checks 
may  exist. 

It  has  been  understood  that  in  these  matters  the  people  have 
so  great  an  interest,  that  this  tribunal,  which  is  the  soie  judge, 
should  be  composed  of  the  representatives  of  the  people. 

But  this  tribunal  has  only  one  duty  to  perform,  once  it  gives 
its  decision  it  does  not  again  interfere,  and  the  young  men  declared 
fit  for  military  service  are  put  at  once  at  the  disposal  of  the  mili- 
tary authorities.  Then  it  must  be  the  latter  authoritv  that  classes 
them  according  to  their  fitness  lor  service,  and  which  alone  has 
the  power  of  determining  this. 

Now,  if  according  to  the  law  it  is  just  that  this  classification 
should  follow  the  ballot  numbers,  nothing  can  be  more  natural, 
and  we  repeat  this  is  what  is,  or  ought  to  be  done  at  the  present 
moment,  and  it  is  quite  right  that  a  ministerial  order  should 
point  this  out  as  the  proper  course  to  follow  when  it  is  prac- 
ticable. But  to  add  an  article  to  the  law,  making  this  which  is 
only  a  matter  of  favour  a  matter  of  right,  would  cause,  we  think, 
more  trouble  than  convenience,  therefore  we  have  not  added  it. 
As  for  the  proposal  to  send  home  young  men  after  one  year's 
service,  and  to  select  them  exclusively  amongst  those  whose  mili- 
tary instruction  shall  be  most  advanced,  and  who  shall  be  selected 
by  lot,  doubtless  there  is  something  very  attractive  in  this  pro- 
posal at  first  sight. 

In  short,  it  appears  a  stimulus  to  good  conduct,  to  constant 
efforts,  to  acquire  as  rapidly  as  possible  the  instruction  deemed 
sufficient,  and  from  this  point  of  view  good  results  might  be 
expected  from  it. 

But  when  we  examine  it  closer,  gentlemen,  one  is  struck  by 
the  fact  that  the  emulation  so  produced  has  but  one  object,  yiz.,  to 
get  out  of  the  army  as  quickly  as  possible. 

Now,  this  bemg  the  prize  offered,  the  man  will  gradually  come 
to  regard  it,  and  not  promotion,  as  the  object  of  all  his  exertions. 
Promotion  is  at  present  his  chief  object,  he  then  would  dread  it, 
because  more  would  undoubtedly  be  asked  from  him  if  promoted, 
and  thus  this  system,  even  in  the  instruction  of  young  recruits, 
would  not  have  the  happy  results  hoped  for. 

It  would,  we  believe,  be  the  same  in  other  respects. 

At  present  the  young  man  who,  before  the  revision,  draws  a 

E  2 

lot.  knows,  once  lie  lias  got  a  number,  wh.etlier  he  makes  a  portion 
of  the  conlingeiit  or  not;  he  also  knows  to  what  conditions  he  is 
submitted,  and  his  family  understands  his  situation. 

Doubtless,  under  the  new  lavr,  the  obligations  of  the  youug 
man  will  be  more  extensive;  he  will  remain  at  the  disposal  of  the 
armv  during  the  whole  time  fixed,  and  he  ought,  in  every  case,  to 
spend  with  the  colours  a  time,  long  or  short,  as  may  be  determined 
on;  but  from  tlic  moment  he  is  enrolled,  until  he  quits  his  house, 
his  position  is  unchanged,  his  individual  interest,  that  is  to  say,  the 
interest  of  the  entire  population,  necessitate  this. 

It  is  equally  requisite  for  the  interest  of  the  army. 

It  is  requisite  that  when  the  young  soldiers  join,  the  com- 
manding officer  should  know  how  long  they  will  form  a  portion 
of  the  corps  he  commands.  On  the  other  hand,  if  the  officers 
see  every  year  tlie  best  drilled  and  most  efficient  men  leave  the 
service,  if  they  only  keep  the  worst  men,  will  they  not  find  their 
task  disagreeable,  will  they  not  feel  that  esprit  clc  corps,  that 
regimental  pride,  that  all  wish  to  preserve,  and  which  is  in  fact  a 
portion  of  their  own  honour,  will  not  they  feel  this  diminished .'' 

Lastly,  will  not  a  selection  amongst  all  men  having  one  year  of 
service,  between  those  whose  instruction  appears  to  be  the  most 
forward,  and  who  must  draw  lots  in  order  to  be  sent  home,  and 
those  who  are  not  so  selected,  will  not  this  selection  produce 
discontent  perhaps  not  uttered,  but  at  least  feelings  that 
will  sour  many  minds,  and  which  will  be  most  prejudicial  to 

We  have  serious  misgivings  on  this  subject. 

Thus,  how  favourable  soever  the  majority  of  your  Committee 
is  to  all  that  could  inspire  earnest  emuJation  in  the  army,  to 
all  that  could  excite  the  man,  whatever  might  be  his  grade,  to 
develope  and  improve  his  instruction,  it  could  not  adopt  the 
proposal  we  are  discussing.  The  Committee  desire  to  express 
its  respect  for  the  ideas  that  have  dictated  this  proposal ;  it 
sought  to  adopt  it,  but  after  careful  examination  its  application 
appeared  to  produce  difficulties  of  more  than  one  kind,  which 
it  was  not  advisable  to  encounter. 

For  the  solution  of  this  problem,  the  Bill  we  ask  you  to  adopt, 
provides,  as  you  have  already  seen, — 

That  all  the  young  men  of  tlie  class  called  on,  and  acknow- 
ledged as  fit  for  the  service,  shall  form  a  portion  of  the  regular  army, 
and  shall  be  placed  at  the  disposal  of  the  Minister  of  War ; 

That  all  are  to  be  enrolled  in  the  various  corps  in  the 
army,  and  sent  either  to  the  said  corps,  battalions  or  schools  of 
instruction ; 

Lastly,  that  each  year  the  Minister  for  War  fixes  the  number 
of  young  soldiers  who  must  reniain  more  than  one  year  under  the 
colours,  and  that  the  selection  of  these  men  will  be  made  in  the 
proportion  fixed,  according  to  the  numbers  they  have  drawn,  on  the 
recruiting  lists  of  their  parishes. 

We  beheve  it  absolutely  requisite,  that  for  the  destination  of 
these  men  the  military  authorities  should  know  beforehand  what  it 


has  to  depend  on.  As  for  young  men  who  are  detailed  to  pass 
only  one  year  in  the  army,  they  will  be  well  aware  that  if  their 
instruction  is  not  sufficient  during  the  year,  they  may  be  com- 
pelled to  remain  a  longer  time  with  their  corps.  Similarly, 
if  after  six  months  they  have  shown  themselves  well  taught 
and  fit  for  duty,  they  may  be  sent  on  furlough;  there  is  therefore 
jin  incentive  to  exertion  for  those  who  now  serve  only  a  year,  but 
who  can  nevertheless,  if  they  feel  it  their  vocation,  aspire  to 
all  grades. 

You  see,  gentlemen,  by  what  considerations  vre  have  been 
guided  in  fixing — 

1st.  Five  years  as  the  period  during  which  all  healthy  French- 
men belong  to  the  regular  army,  whether  under  the  colours 
or  not. 

2nd.  In  requiring  that  all  the  young  men  of  each  class  should 
be  enrolled  in  the  various  corps,  and  be  bound  to  serve 
under  conditions  which  doubtless  vary-  according  to  the 
exigencies  of  the  army  and  its  constitution. 

ord.  Lastly,  to  fix  by  lot,  when  the  men  are  enrolled,  the 
various  destinations  they  should  according  to  their 
aptitude  receive. 

These  resolutions,  we  must  not  conceal  from  you,  have  not  all 
o1)tained  the  assent  of  the  Government. 

Thus  the  Minister  of  War  has  told  us  that  he  agrees  with  us 
o  far  as — 

1st.  The  principle  of  universal  service. 

2nd.  The  institution  of  volunteers  for  a  year. 

3rd.  The  length  of  time  during  which  all  Frenchmen,  declared 
fit  for  service,  ought  to  make  a  part  of  the  regular  army. 

4th.  Lastly,  upon  the  drawing  of  lots  and  the  enrolment  of  all 
young  men  of  each  class  in  the  various  corps,  but  he  cannot 
admit  that  all  these  young  men  should  be  incorporated  and 
pass  all  under  the  colours  according  to  the  destination  to  be 
given  them. 

He  thinks  it  is  not  requisite  to  incorporate  more  than  the 
number  of  young  soldiers  required  for  the  different  arms  of  the 
service,  and  that  they  should  continue  to  serve  only  as  long  as 
they  are  required. 

And  that  these  young  men  should  be  taken  by  the  numbers 
they  have  drawn,  the  others  be  sent  home,  but  should  remain  at 
the  disposal  of  the  Minister  for  War,  to  be  called  either  to 
flil  vacancies  in  the  corps  in  which  they  are  enrolled,  or  in  mass 
if  circumstances  require  it. 

As  for  their  military  instruction,  the  Minister  thinks  that  it  is 
possible,  by  arrangements  to  be  made  hereafter,  to  give  such  an 

The  Minister  also  wished  that  the  duration  of  the  re-engage- 
ment should  be  fixed  at  two  years  as  a  minimum,  and  four  years  as 
•a  rir  xin-ium ;  he  thinks  that  within   these  limits  re-engagements 


will  offer  none  of  the   inconveniences  pointed  out,  and  will  offer 
men  such  inducements  as  may  lead  tliem  to  exert  themselves. 

As  you  will  doubtless  remark,  the  great  point  of  divergence 
between  the  Government  and  the  Committee  is  that  poition  of 
the  Bill  which  directs  that  all  the  young  men  of  each  class  shall  be 
subjected  to  such  a  bona  fide  instruction  as  shall  enable  them  to 
come  already  taught  and  prepared  when  they  are  called  out. 

The  reasons  for  this  rule  you  know ;  we  have  pointed  them 
out  in  the  first  portion  of  this  report.  We  have  still  further 
developed  them  when  analysing  the  system  proposed  by  the 
Honourable  General  Ducrot. 

They  rest  besides  on  ideas  which  have  reference  not  alone 
to  the  interest  of  the  army,  and  they  have  such  force  in  our  eyes, 
that,  despite  the  observations  of  the  War  Minister  and  the  great 
regret  we  experience  at  not  being  able  to  coincide  with  him, 
we  feel  compelled  to  abide  by  our  proposal. 

Let  us  now  see  what  force  the  new  law  will  place  at  the 
disposal  of  the  country. 

Five  classes,  each  composed  of  150,000  men,  equals  750,000. 
But  losses  by  death,  discharges,   &c.,   must   take  place  each 
year,  and  it  is  admitted  in  all  the  calculations  upon  recruiting  that 
these  may  be  assumed  at  4  per  cent,  for  the  first,  3   per  cent,  for 
the  second,  and  2  per  cent,  for  the  remaining  years. 

Thus  after  live  years  the  force  will  not  be  750,000  but  704,720. 
Four  reserve  classes  of  the  regular  army  will  furnish  after  the 
same  deduction,  510,380. 

This  will  give  a  total  of  1.215,000;  this  added  to  the  perma- 
nent portion  of  the  army ;  or  that  not  recruited  by  enrolment,  and 
which  numbers  120,000  men,  will  give  for  the  regular  army  as 
fellows:  — 

Regular  Army. 

Portion  not  recruited  by  enrolment        . .  . .  120,000 

Five  classes,  deductions  being  made  for  deaths,  &c.       704,720 

Total  824,720 

Add  reserve,  four  classes,  deductions  being  made 

for  deaths,  &c.  500,380 

Grand  total  1,325,100 

But  of  the  five  classes  enrolled  for  the  regular  army,  the  last, 
or  youngest,  class  is  not  yet  trained,  and  if  because  it  is  enrolled 
it  figures  on  the  muster  rolls  as  effective,  it  is  only  after  a  certain 
lapse  of  time  that  it  can  be  considered  as  possessing  any  real 
military  value. 

If,  then,  it  is  desirable  to  get  rid  of  shams,  it  is  necessary  to 
calculate  tlie  force  which  the  country  can  make  use  of  in  the  day 
of  danger,  without  trusting  to  this  class,  for  in  our  opinion  it  is 
only  the  four  trained  classes  of  the  regular  army,  united  to  the  per- 

manent  portion  not  recruited  by  enrolment,  which  forms  the  army 
ready  to  enter  into  hne  of  battle. 

Tliis  is  why,  while  we  allow  that  except  for  the  formation  of 
cadres  and  special  arms,  it  is  not  requisite  that  the  men  sliould  in 
ordinary  circumstances  be  more  than  three  or  four  years  with  the 
colours,  we  have  nevertheless  asked  tliat  five  years  may  be  fixed 
as  the  period  during  which  each  cla  ^s  should  belong  to  the  regular 
army.  We  ha\e  been  desirous  that  the  army  should  ahvavs  have 
four  trained  classes,  and  that  the  young  men  before  they  enter  the 
reserve,  where  the  duties  are  different,  should  serve  this  period  of 
five  years. 

Thus,  Gentlemen,  for  the  regular  army  : — 

1st.  The  permanent  portion  . .  . .  120,000 

2nd.  Four  trained  classes     . .  . .  . .  554,720 

Total 674,720 

The  reserve  of  the  regular  army     ..  ..  510,380 

Grand  Total 1,185,100 

This  will  be  the  force  disposable,  while  the  youngest  class 
receives  the  requisite  training. 

It  must  be  added  that  a  certain  number  of  young  men  de- 
termined by  special  conditions,  are  only  summoned  in  case  of  M'ar. 
Also  that  a  certain  number  of  young  men  are  classed  as  being  only 
fitted  for  duty  in  the  auxiliary  branches  of  the  arm}^  and  these  a 
careful  administration  will  draw  on,  for  such  services,  leaving  the 
men  fit  to  carrj''  arms  in  the  ranks. 

Behind  these,  1,185,100  men,  there  is  the  territorial  army, 
composed  of  men  from  29  to  34  years  of  age,  and  organized 
entirely  on  a  different  footing,  so  that  entire  freedom  may  be  given 
to  the  regular  army  and  its  reserve. 

Doubtless  these  figui*es  appear  to  you  very  high  in  comparison 
with  those  existing  formerh",  but  we  must  not  confine  ourselves  to 
a  consideration  of  these  facts  by  themselves. 

A  law  on  the  recruiting  of  the  army,  a  law  constituting  the 
military  forces  of  a  nation,  must  be  looked  at  as  regards  the  forces 
of  other  nations.  It  should  place  the  country  on  the  same  footing 
as  other  nations;  the  sacrifices  called  for  may  be  heavv  and  grinding, 
but  they  are  the  price  we  must  pay  for  the  independence  of  the 

Gentlemen,  if  you  look  across  our  frontier  you  will  see  the 
great  ti'ansformations  that  the  military  institutions  of  the  great 
States  have  undergone  during  the  last  few  years ;  you  will  see 
what  forces  they  can  mobilize  ;  and  we  think  that,  with  the  army 
we  propose,  you  will  acknowledge  that  France  will  be  by  no  means 
in  a  state  inferior  to  what  she  was. 



Russia  has,  by  a  ukase  dated  4th-16th  Novemberj  1870> 
introduced  a  new  principle  into  her  military  institutions,  and 
seeks  to  alter  them;  it  is  not,  therefore,  very  easy  to  give  an  exact 
account  of  the  results  of  the  system  she  has  adopted. 

Her  ohject  is  to  borrow  from  local  and  reserve  troops,  hitherto 
intended  for  service  in  the  interior  of  the  country,  and  the  instruc- 
tion of  recruits,  a  sufficient  number  of  cadres  to  form  the  reserve 
of  infantry  and  foot  artillery. 

The  young  men  of  each  contingent  selected  by  lot  for  incor- 
poration serve  from  21  to  36  years,  namely,  seven  years  under 
the  colours,  and  eight  years  in  the  reserve. 

Lastly?  with  regard  to  the  entire  male  population  capable  of 
bearing  arms,  and  estimated  at  four  millions,  it  is  thought  that 
Russia  can  put  a  force  of  two  million  of  men  on  foot,  several  years, 
however,  appear  requisite  to  attain  this  result,  but,  meantime,  the 
actual  constitution  of  the  Russian  army  is  as  follows  : — 

1st  troops  (active  or  mobile). 
2nd  troops  (local  or  reserve). 

These  are  again  divided  into  regulars  and  irregulars  (Cossacks). 

The  active  or  mobile  troops  include  the  guard  and  the  army  of 
the  line ;  they  are  intended  to  take  the  field  at  once,  and  are 
provided  with  a  material  and  equipment  requisite  for  this  purpose. 
These  troops  have  no  fixed  garrison,  and  may  be  concentrated 
anywhere  in  the  Empire,  as  the  government  may  direct. 

The  local  troops  are,  in  peace  time,  in  permanent  garrisons ; 
they  are  intended  to  furnish  the  garrisons  of  fortresses.  They 
include  80  hattalions  of  reserve  infantry,  who  are  chiefly  intended 
for  instructing  recruits ;  squadrons  and  batteries  exist  for  the 
same  purpose. 

The  irregular  troops  consist  chiefly  of  cavalry,  and  a  certain 
number  of  horse  batteries,  which  are  devoted  to  active  or  local 
duties,  according  to  circumstances. 

The  active  army  is  composed  as  follows  : — 

Active  Aeitt — War  FcoTi^a. 



188  Eegiments  of  Infantry,  at  3.397  pci-  regiment 
30  Battalions  of  Rifles,  394  per  battalion 





Total  lufantiy 





56  Cavahy  Eegimeuts — 938  men,  G33  horses 
^Q  Cavalry  Regiments  of  the  Don 

Total  Cavalry. . 

OffK-crs  un.l 









47  Brigades  of  Foot  Artillery,  4  battalions,  8  guns  eac-:: 

18  Brigades  of  Horse  Artillerv,  ditto 

14  Brigades  of  Horse  Ai-tillery  (Cossacks),  ditto 




Total  Ai-tiUery            







11  Battalions    of    Engineers,    6    Domi-Batlalious 
Pontomiiers     . .           . .           . .           . .           . . 




Total  Engineers 


Pares,  Artillery,  Engineers,  Telegraphs,  &c. 



Grand  Total  of  Troops  in  F/mt  Line. 






Si->  <_e  Giiis. 


These  troops  liave.  since   1S66,  been   several  times  assembled 
in  various  camps. 


The  law  of  the  5th  November,  1 868,  which  has  proclaimed 
universal  compulsory  service  in  the  Austro-Hungarian  monarchy,  fixed  the  duration  of  service — 


At  3  years  in  the  regular  army ; 
7  years  in  the  reserve ; 
2  vears  in  the  Landwehr,  for  men   who   enter  it  after 

fulfilling  their  time  in  the  army  and  reserve; 
12  years  in  the  landwehr  for  men  who  enter  it  directly. 
The  men  named  for  the  reserve  substitutes  may,  until  the  age 
of  30,  be  placed  in  the  ranks. 

The  war  strength  of  the  permanent  army  has  been  fixed  at 
800,000  men  for  ten  years,  not  including  the  frontier  trooj^s,  who 
amount  to  45,135. 

In  case  of  war  the  landwehr  may  be  used  to  aid  the  regular 
army;  it  is  composed  of  170  battalions  and  67  squadrons,  forming 
an  effective  of  192,674  men. 

So  that,  leaving  out  the  reserve  substitutes  kept  to  fill  up  any 
vacancies  in  the  active  army,  and  disregarding  the  landsturm,  the 
total  force  that  Austro-Hungary  can  moblise  is— ' 


Army 800,000 

Frontier  troops  . .  . .  . .        45,135 

Landwehr 192,671 

Total 1,037,706 

The  countries  representing  the  Reichsrath  furnish — 

For  the  army  470,368 

For  the  landwehr 101,929 

Hungary  furnishes — 

For  the  army  .  .  ....      329,632 

For  the  landwehr      . .  . .  . .        90,742 


AVhen  the  military  law  receives  its  fall  development  in  the 
countries  annexed  to  the  North  German  Confederation  and  in 
South  Germany,  the  army  of  the  German  Empire  will  include 
18  corps  and  a  half,  composed  each  of  41,000  men  on  the  active 
or  mobile  list,  and  40  to  43,000  depot  or  garrison  troops,,  or  a 
total  of  1,517jOOO  men.     These  18  corps  already  exist. 


When  the  new  military  law  comes  completely  into  operation, 
which  it  will  do  in  1874-75,  the  total  force  of  Italy  will  be 
750,000  men. 

First  line       . .  .  .  . .  . ,      350,000 

Provincial  iiiiliiia      .  .  . .  . .      200,000 

Substitute  tioops  in  military  districts      200,000 

Total 750,000 


Lastlv,  if  you  will  take  into  account  the  deduction  which  must 
always  be  made  from  the  army,  and  which  cannot  be  avoided,  yon 
will  arrive  at  the  number  of  what  are  termed  the  normal  non- 

Tiiat  is  to  say,  the  category  of  military  men  who  do  not  figure 
on  the  field  of  battle  amounts  to  90,000  men;  then  you  must  add 
the  army  of  occupation  in  Algiers,  about  40,000  men  (66,000  have 
been  asked  for  1872).  Lastly,  actual  deductions  from  tlie  numl^er 
under  arms,  which  are  about  36,000  men,  or  a  total  of  166,000 
men,  who  appear  on  the  estimates,  but  who  cannot  be  counted, 
amongst  the  troops  disposable  for  defence. 

These  men  are — 

aucl  mcu  in  cliavge   of  Kemouiit  "1 


1.  Staff  of  Fortresses      ..  .. 

2.  Departmental  Police  . . 

3.  Fusiliers  and  Pioneers  of  discipline  companies 

4.  Cavalry  School 

5.  Riding  School  men 

6.  Veterinary  Surgeon 

Establishments     ..  ..  ..  .. 

7.  Artillery  Workmen    . .  . .  . .  . .  , . 

8.  Workmen  of  Train  of  Equi2:>ages 

■9.  Chaplains,  Surgeons,  Apothecaries,  Army  and  Garrison 
Chaplains,  Interpreters,  Officers  of  Administration,  of 
Inteudance,  Clothing,  Camp  Equipment,  Harness,  sub- 
sistence, and  Hospitals,  and  Military  Prisons 

10.  Military  Workmen,  Clerks,  Butchers,  and  Bakers, , 

11.  Hospital  Corps 

12.  Supernumeraries,    such    as    Armovtrers,    Boot    Makers 

Saddlers,  Smiths,  &c. 

13.  Effectives  absolutely  requisite  in  time  of  war  (old  sol- 

diers) for  training  recruits. . 











2nd. — Mex  not  atailabl-e  foe  Home  Defence, 
Army  of  Occupation  in  Algiers         , .  . .  . .  . .       40,000 

3rd. — Men  to  be  actf^vxiy  deducted  as  a  Peejiane-st  Loss  feom 
THE  Eanks. 

1.  Sick 

2.  Men  on  leave  . . 

3.  On  Command,  in  Workshops,  Recrviiting  Est  ablishmeuts,&c. 

4.  Under  Punishment    . . 

5.  Men  intended  for  Baggage  Gruard,  Muleteers,  &c. . . 


Grand  Total 


Under  the  proposed  law  the  actual  number  of  normal  non- 
combatants  may  be  reduced  by  using  the  men  classed  as  fit  for 
duty  with  the  auxiliary  services. 

We  recall  these  facts,  gentlemen,  in  order  that  truth  may  come 
clearly  to  light  and  nothing  be  kept  in  the  dark. 

France  should  know  what  slie  rests  on  when  the  number  of 
men  borne  on  the  estimates  is  calculated,  and  what,  without  any 
deception,  is  at  her  disposal. 


But,  gentlemen,  it  is  requisite  that  we  should  tell  you  not  only 
the  number  of  men  that  the  application  of  our  law  will  put  at  the 
disposal  of  the  country,  we  have  also  to  point  out  the  amount  of 
instruction  and  military  education  that  these  men  will  acquire,  in 
order  that  you  may  estimate  what  will  be  the  value  of  the  perma- 
nent organized  force  that  it  will  offer. 

That,  it  must  be  remembered,  is  the  first  portion  of  the  problem. 
Thus,  although  we  are  only  discussing  the  law  of  recruiting,  and 
your  Committee  proposes  hereafter  to  deal  with  the  organization 
of  the  army  and  the  constitution  of  its  cadres,  yet  we  would  not 
completely  fulfil  our  task  if  we  did  not  show  you  that  while  the 
entire  class  will  be  passed  through  the  ranks  it  is  possible,  while 
keeping  the  effective  strength  within  reasonable  limits,  to  have,  on 
the  one  hand,  a  sufficient  number  of  men  trained  completely  as 
soldiers,  and,  on  the  other,  to  give  a  certain  amount  of  military 
instruction  to  those  who,  remaining  a  shorter  time  in  the  army, 
may  be  sent  on  furlough,  and  yet  held  at  the  disjoosal  of  the 
military  authorities. 

Various  arrangements  may  be  made  for  this  purpose,  for  it  is 
possii)le,  having  incorporated  a  sufficient  number  of  young  soldiers, 
to  send  a  large  or  smaller  nuinber  on  furlough,  when  they  shall 
have  1;een  trained  for  the  various  arms  of  tlic  service,  according  to 
the  wants  of  the  army,  and  by  this  means  to  alter  the  number  of 
men  kept  with  the  colours.  This  was  what  was  done  by  the  law  of 
1832,  by  which  the  first  portion  of  the  contingent  only  was  incor- 
porated; when  it  was  considered  requisite  to  instruct  a  larger  number 
of  young  soldiers,  it  was  customary  to  limit  the  service  to  four 

But  whatever  system  he  adopted,  it  is  evident  that  the  first 
thing  to  be  done  is  to  determine  the  effeclive  strength  that  the 
country  wishes  to  preserve  under  the  colours,  since  that  of  course 
must  be  the  basis  of  all  calculations. 

To  be  able  to  place  before  you  the  results  of  the  project  which 
we  submit,  and  to  make  you  understand  in  some  measure  its 
mechanism,  m'C  must  then  fix  this  amount. 

This  we  ol^tain  from  the  proposals  made  to  the  Assembly  by 
tlie  Government  which  in  our  opinion  fixes  the  numbers  at  a  figure 
far  from  too  large,  deductions  being  made  as  already  referred  to. 

404,000  men,  including  the  gendarmerie,  have  been  asked  by 
tlie  Government  for  the  year  1872. 

Taking  this  number,  then,  as  a  point  of  departure  for  the  expla- 
nation we  propose  to  give  as  to  the  composition  of  the  regular  army, 
such  as  will  on  one  of  many  hypotheses  result  from  the  action  of  our 
law,  we  will  assume  that  each  year  15,000  "volunteers  for  a  year,^' 
clothed,  equipped,  and  kept  at  their  own  cost,  will  come  forward ; 

*  "  When,"  said  Marshal  Niel,  '•  we  tliink  of  war,  it  is  requisite  to  instruct  a 
larger  number  of  soldiers.  What  have  we  done  ?  we  have  limited  the  service  to  four 
years,  and  we  have  embodied  the  men  of  the  young  reserve  ahat  is  to  say,  the  second 
portion  of  the  contingent,)  in  the  army,  so  that  there  is  not  in  the  army  any  man 
who  is  not  completely  instructed." 


tMs  number  will  dovibtlcss  not  appear  too  great,  when  you  re- 
member that  the  substitution  and  exonerations  have  been  every 
year  23;,000  on  a  contingent  of  100,000,  and  in  1859,  upon  a 
contingent  of  140,000  men,  the  figure  rose  to  42,000. 

Doubtless  the  diplomas  and  examinations  required  will  not 
allow  all  the  young  men,  who,  under  existing  regulations,  seek  sub- 
stitutes, to  be  admitted  as  volunteers  for  a  year ;  this,  we  need  not 
say,  is  what  we  wish  ;  but  allowing  for  the  progress  of  instruction 
which  the  excitement  to  industry  the  new  law  will  dovdjtless 
produce,  we  think  the  number  of  15,000  on  a  total  of  150,000  is 
not  too  large  to  assume,  as  the  numl^er  who  are  likely  to  fulfil  the 
conditions  required  by  this  kind  of  engagement. 

Lastly,  remember  that  the  permanent  portion  of  the  army 
includes  now  120,000  men ;  and  let  us  see  what,  under  these  con- 
ditions, will  result  from  the  possible  combinations  of  our  law,  and 
what  results  it  w'ill  give. 

With  150,000  young  men  enrolled,  of  whom  15,000  will  be 
volunteers  for  one  vear,  the  number  to  be  borne  on  the  estimate 
will  be  135,000  men." 

If  out  of  these  135,000  yourg  soldiers  the  Minister  for  War 
determines  on  keeping  75,000  on  an  average  four  years  with  the 
colours,  there  remains  60,000  who  need  give  only  one  year  to  their 
instruction.  We  arrive  thus  at  the  total  number  of  the  army 
without  counting  the  volunteers  for  one  year,  or  the  men  on  fur- 

1st  year 135,000 

2nd    ., 72,000* 

3rd    „ 69,840* 

4th     „ 68,440' 

Add  permanent  portion . .  . .      120,000 

Total  .  ,  . .      465,280  men 

Such  will  be  the  portion  paid  for  by  the  State;  all  being  eflfective 
and  without  any  deductions  except  those  foreseen,  which  is  not 

If  we  add  to  this  number  15,000  volunteers  of  a  year,  that  is  ta 
say,  young  men  capable  of  acquiring  a  sufficient  military  instruction, 
we  arrive  at  a  total  of  480,000  men. 

In  addition  to  which  the  men  sent  away  at  the  end  of  the  fourth 
year,  forming  still  a  portion  of  the  regular  army,  amount  to  67-080, 
that  is  to  say,  a  real  total  of  547,000  men,  465,000  only  being 
paid  for  by  the  estimates. 

But  this  is  not  all.  The  regular  army  still  has  other  volunteers 
for  a  year,  viz.,  those  who  have  completed  the  year  for  which  they 
have  engaged. 

*  That  is,  75,000  men,  deducting  4,  3,  and  2  per  cent,  per  year. 


It  has,  in  addition,  the  men  who  after  one  year  of  service  are 
placed  at  tlie  disposal  of  the  regular  army,  and  at  the  orders  of  the 
Minister  for  War.  The  volunteers  for  one  year,  deducting  the  15,000 
already  included,  number  57,190,  and  are  young  men  well  in- 
structed, who  have  at  least  warrants  as  non-commissioned  officers. 
The  men  at  the  disposal  of  the  regular  army  number  220.000,  so 
that  the  total  number  becomes  824,000  men. 

However,  to  understand  clearly  the  number  that  may  1)e  put  in 
line  by  this  organisation,  we  must,  as  already  pointed  out,  deduct 
from  these  824,000  men,  the  youngest  class,  or  150,000  men.  The 
active  army  will  therefore  consist  of — 

The  permanent  portion  which  does  not 
recruit  by  enrolment,  and  composing  the 
cadres 120,000 

Soldiers  of  2,  3,  4,  and  5  j-ears'  service  . .      277>COO 

Men  at  the  disposal  of  the  War  Minister, 

who  have  served  one  year         . .  . .      220  000 

Volunteers  for  a  year         >.  ..  .,        57,000 

Total         ..  ..      674,000 

So  far  as  the  reserve  of  the  army  is  concerned,  it  offers  condi- 
tions still  more  favourable,  for  out  of  510,000  men  255,000  will  have 
served  five  years  with  the  colours,  202,000  will  have  served  one  year 
and  53,000  will  be  volunteers  for  a  year. 

Thus,  to  repel  iiivasion,  France,  without  counting  the  territorial 
army,  will  dispose,  as  we  have  already  said,  of  653,000  men  trained 
to  the  profession  of  arms,  110,000  having,  as  volunteers  for  one 
year,  obtained  M^arrants  as  nun-conmiissioned  officers,  and  422,000 
possessing  an  instruction  sufficient  to  bring  to  the  army  when 
incorporated  the  elements  of  a  real  force.* 

*  Table  sliowiug  the  Effective  of  tlie  Army  in 

tlie  foregoing  liypotb 

;sis  : — 

for  a  Year. 

At  the 
disi>osal  of 
the  ILilitary 


'Permanent  portion 120,000 

1st  year         135,0i:0 

Vlndycar        72,000 

Kegular  ^  3rcl  year        6^,000 

Army.      4tli  year        68,0i;0 





l     824.720 

Voth  year  on  furlougli          67,080 


Toral     532,360 



/  1st  year         63.740 

"'''^■'<'  i  3rd  year         '  ...       63,1  0 

1,4th  year         61,8b0 



i    510,380 

Total 2,o5  U'O 




Deduct  the  last  class  enrolled  as  nut  Icing  taught        



i, 185,000 


We  do  not  conceal  from  ourselves  that  amongst  the  volunteers 
for  a  year,  a  certain  number  of  young  men  are  intended  for  civil 
careers,  neither  do  we  conceal  the  fact  that  tlie  deductions  which 
we  have  foreseen  may  be  exceeded,  that  a  portion  of  the  army 
must  be  employed  in  instructing  the  last  class  enrolled,  although  it 
may  be  possible  to  reduce  this  number.  But  this  must  occur 
with  every  system.  But  as  a  set  off,  there  are  many  young  men 
whose  services  have  been  dispensed  with,  or  have  been  classed 
for  the  auxiUary  services,  and  in  case  of  invasion,  we  repeat, 
these  men  would  be  found  very  valuable. 

But,  gentlemen,  the  combination  which  we  lay  before  you  in 
order  that  you  may  see  the  working  of  the  law  is  by  no  means  the 
most  favourable  for  its  execution.  As  we  have  not  taken  into 
account  that  by  sending  men  on  leave  a  much  larger  number  of 
young  men  may  be  prepared.  We  have  not  taken  into  account 
*'  overslaughs,"  or  sending  men  back  in  anticipation,  or  in  short  all 
that  must  be  allowed  to  give  elasticity  to  a  law  of  recruiting,  and 
modify  the  number  of  men  with  the  colours ;  these  things  will  pro- 
duce a  considerable  effect. 

If  you  refer  to  a  discussion  that  took  place  in  1869,  when  an 
examination  was  made  to  determine  what  would  be  the  result  of 
the  legislation  actually  in  force  on  the  service  of  men  with  their 
corps,  you  will  observe  that  it  was  acknowledged  and  declared  that 
this  period  would  be  much  shorter  than  tliat  fixed  by  the  law.* 

If  this  idea  of  three  years'  actual  service  with  the  colours  be 
applied,  and  a  deduction  be  made  for  the  last  class  enrolled,  at  the 
end  of  five  years'  service  in  the  army  and  four  in  the  reserve,  the 
state  of  affairs  would  be  as  follows  : — 

In  the  Regular  Army. 

100,000  men  having  2  years'  service. 
288,160  .,  having  .S  years'  service. 
120,000     „    permanent  portion  of  the  army. 


In  the  Reserve. 
358,050  men  who  have  served  3  years  with  the  colours. 


Add  at  the  disposal  of  the  Military  Authorities — 

*  In  1869,  when  the  law  on  the  contingent  was  under  discussion,  a  note  was  sen 
to  the  Committee  hy  Marshil  Kiel  to  tlie  following  etfec;:— The  service  counts 
doubtless  from  the  1st  July,  but  the  contingent  is  not  called  until  after  the  1st 
October,  when  the  harvest  is  collected ;  in  adJiiion  to  which  the  men  are  generally 
sent  home  before  the  expirition  of  the  prescribed  time.  And  when  it  is  added  that 
those  who  serve  with  zeal  and  are  not  bad  shots  havoleive  of  from  6  to  7  months 
before  their  periorl  of  service  cxpir.?,  it  must  be  acknowledged  that  a  gooJ  soldier 
need  be  absent  from  his  family  in  time  of  peace  for  a  period  of  barely  three  years. 

•  G4 

57,090  Volunteers  fur  a    year  having    a    Vkarra;;t  as  non- 
commissioned officers 
109,470  who  have  passed  one  year  in  the  army. 

In  Reserve. 

52,670  Volunteers  for  a  year. 

99,G60  men  who  have  served  for  one  year. 


1,185,110  Grand  Total. 

It  is  evident  that  the  number  of  men  who  receive  a  complete 
military  education,  may  perhaps  be  higher  than  we  have  shown, 
and  consequently  the  number  of  men  who  receive  only  one  year's 
instruction  may  be  much  diminished. 

If,  in  the  application  of  the  new  law  for  the  length  of  service 
with  the  effective  strength  of  corps,  the  data  given  in  1869  be 
admitted,  the  number  of  men  entirely  trained  to  the  profession  of 
arms  will  be  much  increased  both  for  the  regular  army  and  its 
reserve,  which  the  law  deems  will  bring  into  the  ranks  a  very 
powerful  contingent. 

These,  however,  are  arrangements  of  detail,  which  it  is  the  pro- 
vince of  the  Government  to  make;  they  doubtless  will  each  year 
become  more  simple,  according  as  the  military  education  of  the 
country  extends,  and  the  standard  of  education  generally  is  raised. 
Full  latitude  must  be  given  to  the  Government  in  these  parti- 

So  far  as  the  special  arms  are  concerned,  it  is  sufficient  to  see 
the  proportion  in  which  the  decision  of  the  effective  strength  of  the 
ai'my  is  made,  to  be  convinced  that  with  all  possible  combinations 
their  recruitment  will  always  be  completely  assured;  doubtless  the 
proportions  l)etween  the  various  arms  will  be  modified,  but  what- 
ever it  may  be  there  will  be  no  difficulty  in  adjusting  matters. f 

*  AVe  are  well  aware  of  the  that  the  incorporation  of  a  greater  number  of  men 
will  increase  the  cost  of  the  first  outfit  and  kit.  This,  for  a  foot  soldier,  cost.4 
51.  lis.  8(7.  ;  if,  then,  in  place  of  incorporating  90,000  men  j'ou  incorporate  135,000, 
an  excess  of  251,250^  is  caused.  But  on  the  other  hand,  on  account  of  their  incor- 
poration not  taking-  place  so  soon  as  provided  for,  which  is  always  the  case,  and  also 
by  sending  well  taught  men  away  before  the  expiration  of  the  year,  this  expense 
may  be  more  than  covered. 

f  By  the  estimate  of  1872  the  following  is  the  strength  of  the  various  Corps  : — 
Number  of  men  in  excess  of  the  strength  of  Corps         . .       7,000 

Infantry         298,200 

Cavalry ..      60,000 

Artillery        45,000 

Engineers 9,000 

Military  Train  8,000 

Troops  of  the  Administration        . .  . .  . .  . .        8,000 


Departmental  Gendarmerie. . 
Eepublican  Guard  of  Paris  . . 







The  presence  of  all  tlie  healthy  young  men  of  each  class  coming 
either  into  corps  to  remain  there  the  time  required  by  the  wants  of 
the  various  arms  of  the  service,  or  in  battalions  or  schools  of  in- 
struction to  acquire  a  certain  amount  of  military  knowledge,  and 
form  habits  of  discipline  will  make  the  army  a  great  school  where 
each  will  learn  the  duties  of  a  soldier  before  exercising  the  rio-hts 
of  a  citizen. 

Lastly,  thanks  to  the  classification,  according  to  profession  and 
aptitude  of  all  the  young  men  forming  a  portion  of  the  army,  or 
its  reserve,  it  will  be  a  vast  cadre,  in  which,  when  requisite,  all  men 
placed  according  to  their  capacity,  may  render  great  service  to 
the  State. 

From  the  point  of  view  of  the  constitution  itself  of  the  armv, 
the  project  that  we  submit  to  you  offers  to  the  country  guarantees 
as  important  and  greater  than  those  that  flow  from  existing 

But  you  should  know  that  we  have  been  governed  by  other 
considerations  than  those  connected  with  the  army.  We  think 
a  military  law  is  a  social  institution  from  which  may  flow  important 
reforms  in  our  customs,  in  our  habits,  and  in  our  legislation. 

Thus,  gentlemen,  the  return  to  the  principle  of  universal  com- 
pulsory military  service,  the  return  we  advisedly  say  for  this  prin- 
ciple was  what  SO  years  ago  we  possessed,  other  nations  borrowed 
it  when  we  abandoned  it ;  to  return  to  the  principle  of  compulsory 
service,  to  mix  up  in  the  army  all  ranks  of  society,  will  raise  at 
once  not  only  the  military  character,  but  also,  what  is  more  im- 
portant, the  character  of  the  citizen. 

It  will  give  our  army  all  the  elements  of  a  powerful  organi- 
sation, with  solidly  formed  cadres  ;  it  will  cause  a  large  number  of 
young  men,  who  have  received  a  suflScient  military  instruction  to 
enter  the  ranks,  and  when  they  are  required  will  have  ready  a 
reserve  already  instructed.  It  Mill  ofTer  to  all  those  intended 
for  a  civil  career,  or  who  have  furnished  the  proofs  of  havino- 
acquired  military  instruction  by  useful  labour,  the  means  of  pursu- 
ing important  studies  without  liberating  them  from  their  debt 
to  the  country. 

These  are  the  results  which  we  hope  the  law  we  submit  to  you 
will  produce.  The  idea  which  has  continually  directed  us,  you  are 
aware,  is  the  state  of  the  country. 

Doubtless,  when  you  look  at  the  map  of  Europe;  when  you  think 
of  the  dangers  to  which  we  are  exposed,  we  must,  notwithstandino- 
our  misfortunes,  strive  to  prevent  the  disturbance  of  a  certain  equi- 
librium too  much  to  our  detriment;  this  we  must  seek  by  the  con- 
stitution of  our  military  force,  and  strive  to  put  the  country  in  a 
state  to  resist  invasion.  It  will  not  be  free  otherwise ;  to  attain 
this  object  what  we  have  suggested  appears  sufficient. 

Gentlemen,  in  any  case  there  is  no  other  means  to  resist  the 
evil  which  threatens  us,  the  breaking  up  of  the  elements  which 
compose  our  society. 



There  is  no  other  means  to  animate  every  heart  with  patriotism 
to  inspire  ideas  of  disciphne  and  feelings  of  devotion  in  every  mind ; 
lastly,  to  tighten  the  bonds  which  unite  all  the  children  of  this 
France,  now  so  cruelly  tried. 


Chapter  I. 


yis  projwsed  by  the  Committee.  Alterations  made  by  the  Assembly. 

Chapter  I. 
General  Arrangements. 
Article  1. 

Every  Frencluran  owes  personal 
military  service  to  his  country. 

Article  2. 

In  the  French  Army  there  is 
neither  bounty  in  money  nor  any 
payment  for  engagement. 

Article  3. 

All  Frenchmen  not  declared  unfit 
for  all  military  service,  may  be  called 
on  from  20  to  40  years  of  age,  to 
form  a  portion  of  the  regular  army 
or  its  reserves,  as  laid  down  by  thi? 

Article  4. 

Substitution  is  suppressed.  Dis- 
pensations from  service  as  laid  down 
in  the  law  do  not  give  a  complete 
1  iberation. 

Article  5. 

Men  with  the  colours  are  not 
allowed  to  vote. 

Article  6. 

All  bodies  of  men  organinized  and 
under  arms  are  x;nder  military  law, 
form  a  portion  of  the  army,  and 
report  either  to  the  Minister  of  War 
or  to  the  Minister  of  Marine. 


As  proposed  hj  the  Committee.  Alterations  made  by  the  Assembly. 

Article  7. 

No  one  is  admitted  into  the  French 
Army  wlio  is  not  a  Frenchman. 

The  following  are  excluded  from 
military  ser^dce,  and  have  no  I'ight 
to  serve  in  the  army. 

1.  Those  who  have  been  con- 
demned to  corporal  or  degrading 

2.  Those  who  have  been  con- 
demned to  two  years'  imprison- 
ment, and  have  in  addition  been 
placed  by  the  court  under  the 
surveillance  of  the  chief  police, 
and  interdicted  in  whole  or  in 
part  from  the  exercise  of  civil 
municipal  or  family  rights. 

Chapter  II. 


First  Section. 

Enumeration  and  Drawing  Lot?. 

Article  8. 

Every  year  a  table  showing  the 
number  of  young  men  having  com- 
pleted 20  years  of  age  during  the 
preceding  year,  and  domiciled  in  the 
canton  will  be  drawn  up  by  the 
Maires  : — 

1.  Upon  the  declarations  that  the 
young  men,  their  parents,  or 
guardians,  are  bound  to  make. 

2.  Upon  the  registers  of  the  civil 
departments  of  the  State,  and 
other  documents  and  informa- 

These  tables  will  show  in  a  column 
of  remai'ks  the  profession  of  each 
young  man  whose  name  appears 

These  tables  are  published  and 
placarded  in  each  township  according 
to  the  forms  prescribed  in  Articles 
63  and  64  of  the  Civil  Code. 

The  last  publication  must  be  not 
later  than  the  1 5th  January. 

A  public  notice  on  the  same  form 
indicates  the  place  and  day  where 
the  aforesaid  table  will  be  examined. 

F  .v; 


As  proposed  hy  the  Coimnittee.  Alterations  mach  hy  the  Assemhly. 

and  by  means  of  the  ballot  a  number 
will  be  assigned  to  each  young  man 
whose  name  is  therein  entered. 

Article  9, 

Individuals  born  in  France  whoso  Individuals  horn  in  France  whose 
]mrcnt3  arc  forcigncra  and  who  arc  parents  are  foreigners,  arid  thosehorn 
admitted  to  the  benefit  of  Article  9  abroad,  or  of  foreigners  naturalized 
of  the  Civil  Code,  will  in  the  cantona  m  France,  and  those  icho  may  not 
where  they  arc  donaioilcd  draw  lota  le  of  age  ichen  their  pareiits  are 
a  I  Ihc  ballot  next  following  the  dc-  naturalized,  will  draw  lots  at  the 
elaration  they  have  in  accordance  lallot  fulloioing  the  declaration  made 
with  the  aforcgaid  article  made.  hy  them  in  accordance  ivith  Article  9 

Indi\dduals  declared  Erenchmen  qf  the  Civil  Code,  and  Article  2  of 
in  virtue  of  the  1st  Ai-ticle  of  the  ike  law  of  the  1th  February,  1851. 
law  of  the  7th  February  1851,  will 
similarly  draw  lots  in  the  canton 
where  they  are  domiciled,  at  the 
ballot  following  their  coming  of  age, 
if  meantime  they  have  not  under 
the  law  just  quoted  claimed  their 
rights  as  foreigners. 

Both  are  only  subject  to  the  obli- 
gations of  military  service  of  the 
class  to  which  from  their  age  they 

Article  10. 

The  following  are  held  to  be 
legally  domiciled  in  the  canton  : — 

1.  Young  men  although  emanci- 
pated, employed,  or  living  else- 
where, expatriated,  absent,  or  in 
a  state  of  imprisonment,  if  their 
father,  mother,  or  guardian,  has 
their  domicile  in  one  of  the 
townships  of  the  canton,  or  if 
their  father  expatriated  had  his 
domicile  in  one  of  the  said 

2.  Young  men  married,  whose 
father,  or  failing  the  father, 
whose  mother  is  domiciled  in 
the  canton,  unless  they  show 
that  their  true  domicile  is  in 
some  other  canton. 

3.  Young  men  married  and  domi-, 
ciled  in  the  canton  even  if  their 
father  and  mother  are  not  domi- 
ciled there. 

4.  Young  men  born  and  living  in 
the  canton,  who  have  neither 
father,  mother,  nor  guardian. 


As  proposed  ly  the  Committee.  Alterations  much  hy  the  Assemhhj. 

5.  All  young  men  living  in  the 
canton  not  included  in  the  above 
classes,  and  who  give  no  proof 
that  they  are  inscribed  in 
another  canton. 

Article  11. 

The  following  are  considered  as 
being  of  the  proper  age,  by  public 
consent  :  all  young  men  who  cannot 
and  do  not  produce  before  the  ballot 
an  extract  from  the  registers  of  the 
Civil  State,  proving  them  to  be  of  a 
different  age,  or  who  failing  the 
registers  cannot,  or  have  not  proved 
their  ages  in  accordance  with  Article 
46  of  the  Civil  Code. 

Article  12. 

If  in  the  tables  <jf  enumeration,  or 
in  the  ballot  of  previous  years,  yoi;ng 
men  have  been  left  out,  they  are  to 
be  entered  on  the  table  of  enumera- 
tion of  the  class  which  is  enrolled 
after  the  discovery  of  the  omission, 
provided  they  have  not  completed 
30  years  of  age,  when  the  table  is 
closed.  After  that  age  they  are  in- 
cluded with  the  class  to  which  they 
properly  belong. 

Article  13. 

When  there  are  several  townships 
in  the  canton  the  examination  of  the 
table  of  enumeration  and  the  drawing 
of  lots  is  to  take  place  at  the  chief 
town  of  the  canton  in  public,  in  pre- 
sence of  the  Svib-Prefect,  assistecl  by 
the  Maires  of  the  canton. 

In  those  townships  which  form 
one  or  several  cantons  the  Sub-Pre- 
fect is  helped  by  the  Maire  and  his 

The  table  is  read  aloud.  The 
young  men,  their  parents,  or  those 
having  cause  to  speak  are  heard. 
The  Sub-Prefect  decides  a  Iter  having 
taken  the  advice  of  the  Maires. 
The  table  is  then  corrected,  if  requi- 
site, and  finally  determined  on  and 

Where  the  canton  is  composed  of 


As  proposed  hy  the  Committee. 

several  communes  the  order  in  wliicli 
they  are  called  is  determined  by  lot. 

Article  14. 

The  Sub-Prefect  will  write  at  the 
top  the  names  of  the  young  men 
who  come  under  i\rticle  60  of  this 

The  first  numbers  will  be  given  to 
them  as  a  matter  of  right. 

These  numbers  are  in  consequence 
taken  oiit  of  the  urn  before  the 
drawing  begins. 

Alterations  made  hy  the  Assembly. 

Article  15. 

Before  drawing  lots  the  Sub-Pre- 
fect will  publicly  count  the  numbers 
and  place  them  in  an  urn  after  having 
ascertained  that  the  numbers  corres- 
pond with  the  young  men  who  are 
to  draw  lots  ;  he  will  then  state  that 
he  has  done  so.  Each  young  man 
will  be  called  as  his  name  stands  on 
the  list  and  will  draw  a  number  from 
the  urn,  which  will  be  read  aloud 
and  entered  opposite  his  name. 

The  relations  of  those  that  arc 
not  present,  or  failing  them,  the 
Maire  of  the  township  will  draw  for 

Once  the  lots  are  drawn  no  altera- 
tions can  be  made ;    on  no  pretext 

can  it  be  recommenced,  and  each  man 

will  keep  the  numbei  he  has  drawn 

or  that  has  been  drawn  for  him. 

A.  list  following  the  order  of  num- 
bers is  prepared  as  the  numbers  are   will  he  at  once  entered  on  the  list  pro- 

drawn,  and  opposite  the  names  will   vided  with  supplementary  numbers, 

be  entered  the  causes  of  exemption   and   draio  lots  to    determine   their 

or  dispensation  that  the  young  men,  places  on  the  recruiting  list. 

their  relations,  or  the  Maire  of  the 

townships  propose  to   bring   before 

the  Coimcil  of  Revision,  referred  to 

in  Article  28. 

The  Sub-Prefect  adds  aoy  remai'ks 

aie  may  think  fit. 

The  li*t  is  then  read,  approved,  and 

signed  in  the  same  way  as  the  table 

of  enumeration,  and  attached  to  that 

table ;  is  publiahed  and  posted  up  in 

each  township  in  the  canton. 

Insert  here — 

Young  men  tcho  may  he  left  out., 


As  proposed  hy  the  Committee.  Alterations  made  hy  the  Assembli/. 

Second  Section. 

Exemptions,  Dispensations^  and 

Article  16. 

Young  men  whose  infirmity  makes 
them  unfitted  for  all  active  or  aux- 
iliary service  in  the  army  ai'e  ex- 
empted from  military  service. 

Article  17. 

The  services  of  the  following  with 
the  regular  army  are  dispensed 
with : — 

1.  The  eldest  of  a  family  having 
lost  both  father  and  mothei*. 

2.  The  only  son,  or  the  eldest  son,  or 
failing  the  son  or  the  son-in-law, 
the  only  grandson,  or  the  eldest 
grandson  of  a  woman  actually  a 
widow,  or  of  a  blind  father  who 
is  in  his  70th  year. 

In  the  cases  referred  to  in  the 
previous  paragraphs  the  younger 
brother  will  enjoy  the  same  pri- 
vileges if  his  elder  brother  is 
blind  or  afflicted  with  any  in- 
firmity which  is  incurable  and 
makes  him  impotent. 

3.  The  eldest  of  two  brothers  who 
draw  lots  at  the  same  time  if 
the  younger  is  fit  for  service. 

4.  He  who  has  a  brother  in  the 
regular  army. 

•5.  The  brother  of  any  man  killed 
on  active  service,  or  who  has 
been  discharged  or  given  a  pen- 
sion for  injuries  received  in  the 
execution  of  his  duty,  or  on 
account  of  ill  health  acquired 
either  in  the  army  or  navy. 

The  dispensations  granted  by 
paragraphs  5  and  6  will  be  applicable 
to  only  one  brother  for  one  case,  but 
they  may  be  granted  to  the  same 
family  as  often  as  the  same  circum- 
stances recur. 

The  young  man  who  neglects  to 
come  forward,  either  by  himself  or 
his  reprpsontative,  at  the  drawing  of 

Insert — 

Or  a  icoman  whose  husband  has 
been  declared  legally  absent. 


As projjosed  hi/  the  Committee.  Alterations  made  hi]  the  Assemhly, 

the  lots  of  the  class  to  which  he 
belongs  cannot  claim  a  dispensation 
as  pointed  out  by  the  present  article 
unless  the  causes  of  dispensation 
occur  after  the  closing  of  the  lists. 

The  causes  of  these  dispensations 
ought,  in  order  that  the  dispensa- 
tion may  be  allowed,  exist  the  day 
the  Council  of  Revision  is  called  on 
to  decide. 

Those  which  occur  between  the 
decision  of  the  Council  of  Revision 
and  the  1st  July,  the  day  from 
which  the  service  of  each  class  dates, 
do  not  alter  the  legal  position  of  the 
young  men  composing  the  class. 

Nevertheless,  the  recruit  who, 
after  the  decision  of  the  Council  of 
Revision,  either  on  the  1st  July 
becomes  the  eldest  of  a  family  with- 
out father  or  mother,  the  only  or  the 
eldest  son  failing,  the  son,  the  son- 
in-law,    the   only   grandson    or    the       Insert 

eldest  grandson  of  a  widow,  or  a  o,.  ^  ,^omr»?.  ivhose  husband  has 
blmd  father  may,  if  he  demands  it  i^^n  legally  declared  absent. 
alter  one  year  s  service  in  the  ranks, 
be  sent  home  and  kept  at  the  dis- 
position of  the  militaiy  authorities 
antil  the  period  of  his  service  be 

Article  18. 

Young  men  who,  when  the  Coun- 
cil of  Revision  meets,  have  not  the 
requisite  height  of  5  feet  Oi  inch 
or  are  thought  too  weak  for  duty 
under  arms  may  be  sent  home  for 
two  years,  at  the  end  of  which  time 
they  must  be  again  examined. 

The  young  men,  unless  specially 
authorized,  are  bound  to  appear 
before  the  Council  of  Revision  of  the 
Canton  which  has  sent  them  back. 

After  the  final  examination,  they 
ai-e  classed,  and  those  of  these  young 
men  Avho  are  considered  fit  for  ser- 
vice, either  in  the  Army  or  in  some 
auxiliary  branch  of  the  Army,  must 
then  fulfil  the  obligations  of  the' 
class  to  which  they  belong. 

Article  19- 

The  following  arc  conditionally  dis- 
pensed from  military  service ; 


As  jJJ'oposed  by  the  Committee. 

1.  Tho  pupils  of  the  Ecole  P0I3-- 
tooliDiquo,  tho  Ecole  called  des 
Jovuies  de  -Langue^.,  the  Ecole  des 
Charti  —    -     -- 

t4  . 

^lartly  in  those  sc 
partly  in  tho  public  ser-yiee. 
2v^  Tho   members — of  the    public 
educational  cstablishmonts,   the 

who  engage  to  Bpen 
in  teaching,  and  have  been  ac 
?il  of  the 

fixed  for  dra^sdng-let&i- 

il — JrUGtitutions  -4&¥ — the- 

Dcaf  and  Dumb. 

1.  Tho  members  and  tho  novices 

of  the  religious  asGociationB  who 

devote — themsolvea — to — teaoh- 

law ;  also  thooc  that  aro  aoknow- 
Icdged  to   bo  of   public  advan 

5^— ¥-oung  men  who  being  placed 
in   the   cii-cumstancos    foi'csoon 

of  the  15th  March,   1850,  and- 

of  the   10th  April, -1867,  may 
contract  rjimilnr  engagements. 
6.  EcclcoiaDticnl    pupilo- 
for  thiri  pui'poac  by- 

A    vn-t  K  1->T  c'It  j-^1  .L-i  ^-.i*  t-?  T  r»  l-t  y-v  i-vr< Q  ft  rJ 

XXlO — y"  OXiIlcf" ~  I Hdl      nil  tXlUl  i^iJvl      brT 

themselves  te-thc  Ministry  in 
any  of  the  worships  paid  by 
the — State. ^J^nder  the  con- 
dition— th€tt  -  they  aro — bound 
to  perform  their  military 
vice,  if  they— eease - 
these  profeooiona  and  have  not 
entered  holy— ofdera — of-  been- 
consecrated  before  they  arc  26 
years  of  ago. 

Alterations  made  by  the  Assembly. 

The  pupils  of  the  Ecole  Poly  tech- 
nique and  the  Ecole  Forestiere  are 
considered  as  serving  under  the 
colours  tchile  at  those  schools. 

The  laiv  on  Army  Organization 
referred  to  in  Article  45  of  the  Lata 
will  determine  hoiv  the  young  men 
ivho  j}ass  out  of  these  schools  and  do 
not  enter  the  A)  my  or  JSavy,  shall 
be  employed,  tch ether  in  "  ivaiting," 
or  in  the  Reserve,  or  in  the  Territorial 
Army,  or  in  the  Auxiliary  Services. 
The  pupils  at  both  these  schools  who 
do  not  pass  tlie  fined  examination, 
shall  follow  the  lot  of  the  class  they 
by  age  belong  to,  the  time  spent  at 
these  schools  being  deducted  from, 
the  total  service  required  by  Article 
36  0/  this  Law. 

Article  20. 

Members  of  the  public  instruction 
a nd  the  ■  youitg    nicu — who.  without 


As  proposed  by  the  Committee. 

])eloDgiQ g  ^k>-  4lie   religious   associar 
tioas- mentiouod  in  paragraph  4  of 
the—  j^reoeding   articlo,- 
come  under  the  oasos-f)¥< 

March,  1850,  or  by- tJie  Article  18  of 
tb€J[iaw-of^t^o  IQth  March,   1867, 

ment  to  devote  themselves   for   10 
isti'uction  arc  hound  to  nass 

military  school  selected  by~t 
st#r-for  "War, 


Alteratiims  made  by  the  Assembly, 

Conditional   Dispensations  from 
Military  Service  are  granted  to — 

1.  Members  of  the  Public  Educa- 
tional Establishments,  jxijiils  of 
the  Higher  Normal  School  of 
Paris  who  have  engaged  to  devote 
themselves  to  education  for  10 
years,  and  who  have  been  accepted 
by  the  Pector  of  the  Academy 
before  the  ballot,  and  who  fulfil 
the  engagement. 

2.  Professors  in  the  National  Insti- 
tutions fur  Deaf  and  Dumb  and 
Blind,  under  the  same  conditions 
as  the  former  class. 

3.  Artists  tcho  have  carried  ojf  the 
great  prizes  of  the  Institutes,  on 
condition  that  they  fulfil  all  their 
duties  to  the  State  and  spend  at 
the  School  at  Rome  the  p)roper 
number  of  years. 

4.  Pupils  of  the  School  of  Oriental 
Languages,  and  pupils  of  the 
School  of  Maps,  provided  they 
agree  to  spend  10  years  in  these 
schools  or  in  the  Public  Service. 

5.  Members  and  novices  of  the  reli- 
gious societies  devotfid  to  education, 
authorized  by  the  luw,or  acknow- 
ledged to  be  of  public  utility ,  the 
directors,  masters,  or  assistants 
of  lay  schools  ivhich  fulfil  these 
same  conditions,  provided,  both 
have,  prior  to  the  ballot,  made  an 
agreement  before  the  Rector  of  the 
Acadetny  to  teach  for  10  years 
and  fulfil  that  engagement. 

Ck  Young  men  who  are  not  embraced 
in  the  above  classes,  but  irho  are 
in  the  situations  provided  for  by 
Article  79  of  the  law  of  the  loth 
March,  1850,  and  Ai  tide  18  of 
the  law  of  the  lOth  Ajml,  1867, 
and  have,  prior  to  the  ballot, 
formed  the  same  engagement  be- 
fore the  Rector. 

The  engagement  to  teach  for  10 
years  must  be  fulfilled  by  the 
tutors  and  assistant  tutors,  both 
in  the  Public  Schools  as  well  as 
the  Free  Schools  named  by  the 
Minister  of  Public  Education,  in 
accordance  n-ith  the  adi  ice  r>f  the 
Departmental  Council. 


As  proposed  hy  the  Committee.  Alterations  made  by  the  Assembly. 

7.  Piij)ils  selected  by  the  Arch- 
bishojys  or  Bishops,  and  young 
men  authorized  to  continue  their 
studies.,  to  devote  themselves  to  be 
Ministers  oj  any  worship  paid  by 
the  State,  provided  that  they  com- 
plete their  Military  Service  if  they 
drop  the  studies  for  u'hich  they 
have  received  a  dispe)isation,  or  if 
at  26  years  of  age,  the  frst  have 
not  entered  Holy  Orders  and  the 
latter  been  consecrated. 

Article  21. 

^i.\)  I J  t^illj*    \}\J    Uxxt?     OCX 

J  Army  or  Navyv  by 

)7  and  tlio  young  sailors 

mval  conFjori]>tion,  in 
conformity  with  the  rules  laid  down 
by  Articlcri  1,  3,-gj-4y-#,  of  tho  Law 
of  the  Sfd  Bramaire-  Year— tV,  as 
well  as  the  young  men  named  by 
Article  \^.  who  coano  to  bo  in -the 
position  laid  -down  by  tho  aforesaid 
artielej — bofoi-c  aocomplishing — the 
eoiiditiefts — impoaed — on — theea — are 
boundj — lat.  To  -makc-a-4eelaration- 
of  tl^e — ciyettfftstftrnoeB  boforo  the 
Mai  re  of  ^:he~  township-in  tho  year 

ciluCrCu^ — t^y~ '  traG     C©S  S  ft' V  lOH     0±      Xr&G±i 
girt"" '*'*•'*  ^-^     i4 n-j-TT     iw  ft'fii  fixT     Q Ttri "^Ck    i"0  \tc\ 

a  \vay-ar-eepy  -ef-4beir-declarat-ion . 

2nd.  To  serve  in  the  Army  the 
time  laid  down  by  this  law,  and  to 
foi'm  a  portion  of  the  reserve  as  laid 
down  for  the  class  to  which  they 

Failing  to  make  such  a  declaration 
and  submit  it  to  the  inspection  of  the 
Prefect  of  the  department  within 
one  month,  they  will  be  liable  to  be 
punished  in  accordance  with  Article 
60  of  this  Law. 

They  join  the  first  class,  entering 
the  ranks  on  the  1st  July  following 
the  date  when  their  duty,  service,  or 
study  ceased. 

The  time  that  elapses  between 
such  cessation  and  the  date  of  their 
declaration  is  not  to  count  in  the 
service  required  by  this  law. 

It   is  to  be  understood  that    the 

Young  men  belonging  to  the  Army 
or  Navy,  either  by  a  Warrant  or 
C'ommissioti,  and  ivho  quit  the 
Service  ;  young  sailors  xohose  names 
are  borne  on  the  register  of  the  naval 
conscription  in  conformity  icith  the 
rules  laid  doicn  in  Articles  1,  2,  3, 
4,  5  of  the  law  25th  October,  1795 
{3rd  Bruniaire  Year  IV),  and  who 
erase  their  names  from  the  lists; 
young  men  described  in  Article 
19,  tvho  cease  to  be  in  the  position 
therein  described  before  completing 
the  conditions  imposed  on  them  are 
bound — 

1*^.  To  make  a  declaration  to 
that  effect  before  the  Maire  of  the 
Commune  icithin  two  months,  and 
take  away  a  copy  of  that  declaration. 


As  proposed  by  the  Committee. 

number  of  years  that  any  French- 
man passes  in  the  service  of  the 
State  either  in  the  naval  consci'iption, 
by  young  men  attached  to  the  Army 
or  Navy  in  virtue  of  a  voluntary 
engagement  or  commission,  is  to  be 
always  deducted  from  the  number  of 
years  they  should  spend  in  the 

Article  22. 

Young  men  selected  by  the  Muni- 
cipal Councils  of  the  Commune 
where  they  are  domiciled  may 
receive  provisional  dispensations,  if 
they  are  bond  fide  supporters  of 

The  names  of  these  young  men 
are  presented  to  the  Council  of  Re- 
vision by  the  Maire. 

Dispensations  may  be  granted  by 
departments  to  the  extent  of  4  per 
cent,  of  the  number  of  yoimg  men 
reported  as  fit  for  the  service,  and 
included  in  the  first  portion  of  the 
canton  lists. 

Every  year  the  Maire  of  each 
Commune  will  repox't  to  the  Council 
of  Revision  the  situation  of  the 
young  men  who  have  obtained  dis- 
l^ensations  during  previous  years  as 
supporters  of  families. 

Alterations  made  hy  the  Assem,hh/. 

Omit  '  voluntarij  enr/agement^  in- 
sert '  Warrant.' 

Article  23. 

In  time  of  peace  overslaughs  may 
be  given  to  young  men  who,  prior 
to  the  drawing  of  the  lots,  have 
asked  for  them  from  the  Municipal 
CouRcil  of  the  Commune  wliero  -they 

In  order  that  these  overslaughs 
may  be  granted,  the  young  men 
must  prove  that  either  on  account  of 
their  being  apprentices,  or  on  ac- 
count of  their  engagement  in  agri- 
culture, industry,  or  commerce,  on 
their  own,  or  their  parents,  account, 
such  overslaughs  are  I'eally  indis- 

Omit  ''from  the''  to  '  domiciled.' 

These  overslaughs  give  no  right 
to  exemption  or  dispensation.  They 
are  granted  for  one  year,  and  may 
he  reneioed  for  a  second  year. 

A  young  man  who  gets  an  over- 
slaugh must  keep  the  number  he  has 
drawn  and  must  fulfil  all  the  obli- 
gufions  imposed  on  him  hy  that 


As  proposed  It/  the  Committee.  Alterations  made  hy  the  Assemhlij. 

Article  24. 

Tliese  demands  for  overslaughs  are 
sent  to  the  Maire  of  each  Commune;  icho  expresses  his  opinion. 
the  Municipal  Council  gives  its 
opinion ;  they  are  forwarded  to  the 
Council  of  Revision,  and  sent  in 
duplicate  to  the  Sub- Prefect,  who, 
having  added  his  observations,  sends 
them  to  the  Prefect,  with  all  the 
requisite  documents.  Overslaughs 
to  the  extent  of  4  per  cent,  of  each 
class  may  be  granted  to  the  whole 
depar-tment,  the  percentage  to  be 
calculated  on  the  number  of  young 
men  fit  for  service  in  the  class  and 
included  in  the  first  portion  of  the 
cantonal  recruiting  lists. 

Article  2&7 

'^  be  renewed 
twice  afterwards  ;  after  which  the- 
young  man  must  fulfil  the  obligations- 
pass  at  least  one  year  in  the  regular 

Article  20.  Article  25. 

Young  men  who  receive  dispen- 
sations from  serving  in  the  regular 
army  according  to  Article  17  of  this 
Law,  young  men  dispensed  with  as 
being  supporters  of  families,  as  well 
as  the  young  men  to  whom  over- 
slaughs are  granted,  may,  by  an 
order  of  the  Minister,  undergo 
certain  drills. 

When  causes  for  dispensations  or 
overslaughs  cease,  they  are  then 
treated  as  the  remainder  of  the 
class  to  which  they  belong. 

Article  37.  Article  26. 

Young  men  whose  services  with 
the  regular  army  in  accordance  with 
Article  17,  young  men  dispensed 
with  as  being  supporters  of  families, 
as  well  as  those  who  have  obtained 
overslaughs,  may  in  case  of  war  be 
called  on  as  other  men  of  their  class. 

The   military  authorities    dispose 


As  proposed  bij  the  Committee.  Alterations  made  by  the  Assembly. 

of  them  then  according  to  tlie  re- 
quirements of  the  different  ai'ms. 

They  may,  however,  be — excep- 
tionally left  in  the  atatc-in  which 
priof  dcciaiona  placed  them. 

Third  Section. 

Councils  of  Revisions  and  Lists  oj 
Cantonal  Recruiting. 

Article  27. 

The  operations  of  recruiting  is 
reviewed  ;  the  appeals  to  which  these 
operations  give  rise  are  heard ;  the 
causes  of  exemption  and  dispensation 
provided  for  by  Articles  16,  17,  and 
20  of  this  Law,  are  decided  in  public 
by  a  Revising  Council  composed 


The  Prefect,  or  failing  the  Prefect, 
the  General  Secretary  or  Coun- 
cillor of  the  Prefectui-e,  delegated 
for  that  purpose  by  the  Prefect. 

A  Councillor  of  thePrefectare,  named 
by  the  Prefect ;  and  a  member  of 
the  General  Council  of  the  depart- 
ment other  than  the  representa- 
tive elected  in  the  canton  where  the 
revision  takes  place  :  both  named 
by  the  Permanent  Council-General 
in  accordance  with  Article  82  of 
the  Law  of  the  10th  August,  1871. 

A  General  or  Field  Officer  named  by 
the  military  authorities. 

A  Member  of  the  Intendance.  the 
Commandant  of  the  Recruiting 
Depot,  a  Military  Surgeon,  or 
failing  him,  a  Civil  Surgeon 
selected  by  the  military  authori- 
ties, will  also  assist  at  the  opera- 
tion of  the  Council  of  Revision. 

The  Member  of  the  Intendance  is 
heard  on  behalf  of  the  law  when  he 
asks,  and  can  enter  his  observations 
on  the  register  of  the  deliberation?. 

The  Council  of  Revision  moves 
from  one  canton  to  another,  but  if 
locally  convenient  the  Pi'efect  may 
exceptionally  unite  in  the  same 
place  several  cantons  for  the  opera- 
tions of  the  Council. 


As  proposed  htj  the  Committee. 

The  Sub-Pi-efect  or  the  functionary 
by  -whom  he  would  be  replaced  is 
present  at  the  meetings  of  the 
Council  of  Revision  heid  in  his 
arroudissement.  He  gives  his 

The  Maii'es  of  the  Communes  to 
■which  the  young  men  called  before 
the  Council  are  present  at  the  meet- 
ings and  may  be  heard. 

Article  28. 

The  young:  men  whose  names  are 
borne  on  the  censiis  table  are  sum- 
moned, examined,  and  heai-d  by  the 
Council  of  Eevision.  They  may  then 
state  the  arm  in  which  they  wish  to 

If  they  are  absent  or  unrepresented, 
or  have  obtained  no  delay,  their  case 
is  dealt  with  as  if  they  were  present. 

In  case  of  exemption  for  infirmity 
exporta  nro  oonoultoJi 

The  cases  of  claims  for  dispensa- 
tions are  judged  on  the  production 
of  authoritative  documents,  or  fail- 
ing such,  documents  on  certificates 
signed  by  those  fathers  of  families 
domiciled  in  the  same  canton  whose 
sons  have  been  enrolled. 

These  certificates  must  also  be 
signed  and  approved  by  the  Maire 
oi  the  Commune  of  the  complainant. 

Article  29. 

"When  the  young  men  whose 
names  are  borne  on  the  census  tables 
have  made  appeals,  the  admission  or 
rejection  o?  which  depends  on  the 
decision  of  judicial  questions  relative 
to  their  state  and  thek  civil  rights, 
the  Council  of  Eevision  adjourns  its 
decision,  or  only  gives  a  conditional 

The  questions  are  judged  in 
concert  with  the  Prefect,  at  the 
request  of  those  who  are  most  anxious ; 
the  tribunals  decide  without  delay 
and  the  Minister  is  informed  of  it. 

Article  30. 

Except  in  the  cases  referred  to  by 
the  previous  Article  the  decisions 
of  the  Council  of  Revision  are  defi- 

Alterations  made  by  the  Assemhly. 


If  on  account  of  absence  the 
Council  of  Revision  consists  of  only 
four  members,  it  may  deliberate, 
but  the  President  has  no  casting 
vote.  A  decision  must  be  given  by 
their  votes,  if  they  are  divided  the 
Council  must  adjourn. 

the  Council  only  decides  after 
hearing  the  Surgeon  who  assists 

Brothers  may  exchange  numbers. 


Asjiroposed  hy  the  Committee.  Alterations  made  hy  tie  Assembly. 

nite ;  they  may  however  be  im- 
pugned before  the  Council  of  State 
for  incompetence  or  exceeding  their 

They  may  also  be  impugned  by 
the  Minister  of  War  and  in  the 
interest  of  the  law  ;  nevertheless  the 
persons  affected  will  profit  by  their 
being  annulled. 

Article  31. 

After  the  Council  of  Revision  has 
decided  on  the  cases  for  exemption 
and  dispensations,  as  well  as  upon 
all  the  consequent  appeals,  the  can- 
tonal recruiting  list  is  definitely 
signed  and  completed  by  the  Council 
of  Revision. 

This  list  is  divided  into  five  parts, 
viz.  : — 

1.  In  the  order  of  the  numbers 
drawn  all  the  young  men  de- 
clared fit  for  military  service 
and  who  are  not  classed  in  the 
following  categories. 

2.  All  the  young  men  dispensed 
with  under  Article  17  of  this 

3.  All  the  young  men  provisionally 
dispensed  with  in  virtue  of 
Article  20,  as  well  as  the  young 
men  connected  with  the  army 
by  a  voluntary  engagement,  a 
warrant  or  a  commission,  and 
the  enrolled  young  sailors. 

4.  Young  men  who  on  account  of 
their  want  of  height  have  re- 
ceived dispensations  for  service 
in  the  regular  army,  but  who 
are  fit  for  duty  with  the  aux- 
iliary branches  of  the  army. 

5.  Lastly,  young  men  who  have 
been  sent  back  to  be  a  second 
time  brought  before  the  Council 
of  Revision. 

Article  32. 
When  the  recruiting  lists  of  a,ll 
the  cantons  of  the  department  have 
been  completed  in  conformity  with 
the  regulations  of  the  preceding 
Article,  the  Council  of  Revision,  to 
which  is  added  two  members  of  the 
General  Council,  nominated  by  the 


As  proposrd  by  the  Committee.  Alterations  made  hy  the  Asse?nhly. 

Permanent  Committee,  will  assemble 
at  the  chief  town  of  the  department 
and  pronounce  on  the  applications 
for  dispensations  on  the  grounds 
that  the  men  are  supporters  of 
families,  and  upon  the  demands  for 

Fourth  Section. 
Registration  Lists. 

Article  33. 

A  registry  is  kept  in  eacli  depart- 
ment, or  in  the  divisions  of  each  de- 
partment, in  virtue  of  an  order  of 
the  public  administration. 

This  registry  is  drawn  up  by 
means  of  the  lists  just  referred  to 
(Article  31),  and  on  it  will  be  borne 
the  names  of  all  the  young  men  not 
unfit  for  any  military  service,  or 
who  have  not  been  sent  back  for 
a  new  examination  by  the  Council 
of  Revision. 

This  register  will  have  entered  on 
it  the  date  of  the  incorporation  of 
each  recruit,  or  the  position  in  which 
he  is  left,  and  also  in  succession  all 
the  changes  which  take  place  in  his 
state  until  he  enters  the  territorial 

Article  34. 

Every  man  entered  on  the  register 
who  changes  his  domicile  is  bound 
to  give  notice  to  the  Maire  of  the 
Commime  that  he  leaves  and  the 
Maire  of  the  place  he  goes  to. 

The  Maire  of  each  of  these  Com- 
munes transmits  within  eight  days 
a  copy  of  the  said  declaration  to  the 
registry  office  of  the  district  in  which 
the  commune  is  situated. 

Article  35. 

Every  man  entered  on  the  register 
who  wrshes  to  reside  in  a  foreign 
country  is  bound  in  his  declaration 
to  the  Maire  of  the  Commune  where 
he  lives  to  make  known  the  place  he 
is  going  to,  and  so  soon  as  he  arrives 
to  inform  the  consular  agent  of 


As  proposed  by  the  Committee. 

The  Maire  of  the  Commune  within 
8  clays  sends  a  copy  of  this  declara- 
tion to  the  registry  office  of  the 
district  in  which  the  commune  is 

The  consular  agent  within  8  days 
sends  a  copy  of  this  declai'ation  to 
the  Minister  of  War. 

Alterations  made  hj  tlie  Assembly. 

Chapter  III. 

Military  Service. 

Article  36. 

Every  Frenchman  not  declared 
unfit  for  all  military  service  will 
serve  in  the  regular  army  for  5 
years,  in  the  reserve  of  the  regular 
army  for  4  years ;  in  the  territorial 
army  for  5  years,  in  the  reserve  of 
the  terrihorial  army  for  6  years. 

1.  The  regular  army  is  composed, 
in  addition  to  the  men  who  are 
not  recruited  by  enrolment,  of 
all  the  young  men  declared  fit 
for  one  of  the  services  of  the 
array  and  included  in  the  five 
last  classes  enrolled. 

2.  The  reserve  of  the  regular  army 
is  composed  of  all  the  men 
declared  fit  for  any  of  the 
services  -of  the  army,  and  em- 
braced in  the  four  classes 
eni-olled  immediately  before 
those  serving  in  the  regular 

3.  The  tei-ritorial  army  is  com- 
posed of  all  the  men  who  have 
completed  the  period  of  service 
prescribed  for  the  regular  army 
and  the  reserve. 

4.  The  reserve  of  the  territorial 
army  is  compoeed  of  all  the  men 
who  have  completed  the  period 
of  service  for  this  army. 

The  territorial  army  and  the 
second  reserve  are  formed  by  districts 
fixed  by  a  decree  of  the  pviblic 

They  embrace  for  each  region  the 
men  detailed  ia  paragraphs  3  and  4 
who  are  domiciled  in  the  remon, 

Insert  last. 


As  proposed  hij  the  Committee. 

Article  37. 

The  navy  and  tlie  corps  of  marines 
are  composed  in  addition  to  the  men 
furnished  by  the  maritime  inscrip- 
tion :  — 

1.  Of  the  men  engaged  vokmtarily 
or  re-engaged  on  conditions 
fixed  by  an  order  of  the  public 

2.  Of  young  men  who  when  the 
Council  of  Revision  sits,  shall 
apply  foi-  service  in  the  navy  or 
in  one  of  its  corps,  and  shall  1)6 
accepted  as  fit  for  the  duty, 

3.  Lastly,  and  failing  the  number 
of  men  included  in  the  previous 
categories  being  sufficient,  of 
the  portion  of  the  contingent 
detailed  by  the  Minister  of  War 
for  the  navy  or  its  corps. 

luis  conting'eiit   is  ttrawn   tn  each 

by  the  want?*- of  the  service-. 

Exchange -before  incorpoifrt i on  is 
Jiuxnorisod  Detween   tnc  v^nnii^  m^^n 

-army  anti-mt^. 

For  men  who  -do-net-hekmg  to  the 


These    men    then-  -pass    into — the 

Article  38. 

Length  of  service  counts  from  the 
the  1st  July  of  the  year  when  lots 
are  drawn. 

Each  year,  on  the  30th  of  June,  in 
peace  time,  soldiers  who  have  com- 
pleted their  period  of  service  in  the 
reserve  of  the  regular  army,  those 
who  have  completed  the  period  of 
service  pi'eseribcd  for  the  territorial 
army,  lastly  those  who  have  com- 
pleted the  period  of  service  for  the 
reserve  of  this  army,  receive  a  cer- 
tificate which  states — 

For  the  first,  tluir  transfer  info  the 
first  reserve. 

Alterations  made  hij  the  Assemhhj. 

The  contingent  furnished  hij  each 
canton  in  the  j^roportion  fixed  by 
that  decision  is  composed  of  the 
young  men  included  in  the  first  por- 
tion of  the  Canton  Recruiting  List 
and  who  have  drawn  the  first  num- 

A  decision  of  the  Administration 
will  fx  the  conditions  xindcr  ichich 
exchanges  between  the  young  men 
detailed  for  the  Army  and  Navy 
may  be  made. 

For  men  who  do  not  belong  to  the 
Naval  conscription  tlie  period  of 
service  in  the  Navy  is  five  years,  in 
the  Reserve  2  years. 

After  irhicJi  the  men  pass  into 
the  territorial  army. 

G    2 


yls  proposed  b])  the  Committee  Altera tluna  made  hy  the  Asstmbly. 

Yov  the  second,  their  transfer  into 
the  territorial  army. 

For  the  third,  their  transfer  into 
the  second  reserve  ;  at  the  expiration 
of  their  time  of  service  in  ihis  re- 
serve the  men  receive  their  final 

In  war  time  they  will  receive  their  The  last  paragraph  is  applicable 
discharge  so  soon  as  the  men  of  the  at  all  times  to  men  composing  the 
class  who  rej)lace  them  shall  arrive,      crews  of  ships  in  commission. 

Article  39. 

All  the  young  men  of  the  class 
enrolled  who  are  not  exempted  on 
accomit  of  infirmities,  or  are  not 
dispensed  with  under  the  provisions 
of  this  law,  or  who  do  not  obtain 
overslaughs,  or  are  not  detailed  for 
the  na^'y,  form  a  portion  of  the  re- 
gidar  army,  and  are  placed  at  the 
cii.^-position  of  the  Minister  for  War. 

These  young  soldiers  are  all  en- 
rolled in  the  various  corps  of  the 
army,  and  sent  to  the  various  corps 
or  to  battalions  and  schools  of  in- 

Article  40. 

After  one  year  of  service,  young 
soldiers  in  the  conditions  previously 
sjiecified  are  no  longer  kept  with  the 
colours,  the  number  retained  being 
that  fixed  each  year  by  the  Minister 
for  War. 

They  are  taken  in  the  order  of  the 
numbers  drawn  upon  the  first  por- 
tion of  the  recruiting  list  of  each 
canton,  and  in  the  proportion  fixed 
by  the  ministerial  decision ;  this 
decision  is  given  as  soon  as  possible 
after  the  completion  of  the  recruit- 
ing operations. 

Article  41. 

Notwithstanding  the  regulations  of 
the  previous  article,  the  soldier, 
although  included  in  the  category 
of  those  who  are  only  to  remain  one' 
year  with  the  colours,  but  who  does 
not  know  how  to  read  or  write,  and 
docs  not  pass  the  examinations  re- 
quired by  the  Minister  for  War,  may 
be  kept  for  a  second  year  with  his 

The    soldier    placed    in    the    same 


As  proposed  by  the  Committee.  Alterations  made  h>j  the  Assemhlij. 

category,  who,  by  instruction  ac- 
quired pieviously  to  his  entry  into 
the  service,  fulfils  all  the  required 
couditions,  may  after  six  months  at 
the  periods  fixed  by  the  War  Minif^ter 
and  before  the  expii"ation  of  the  year, 
be  sent  home  on  fui  lough  in  accor- 
dance with  the  following  article. 

Article  42. 

Young  men  who  having  served  tlie 
period  of  service  prescribed  in  Arti- 
cles 40  and  41  are  not  kept  with  the 
colours,  remain  at  the  disposal  of  the 
regulai'  army,  and  may  be  sent  on 
furlough  until  recalled  by  the  War 

They  may,  by  order  of  the  Minis- 
ter, take  part  in  reviews  and  drills. 

Article  43. 

Men  sent  into  the  reserve  of  the 
regular  army  remain  registered  as 
prescribed  by  the  law  on  oi'ganiza- 

The  recall  of  the  reserve  of  the 
regular  army  may  take  place  in  a 
distinct  and  independent  manner, 
both  for  the  army  and  navy  ;  it  may 
be  made  by  clas>es,  beginning  with 
the  yoimgest. 

The  men  of  the  reserve  of  the 
regular  army  are  liable  to  take  part 
in  two  manoeuvres  during  their  re- 
serve service. 

The  length  of  tlnse  manccuvres 
must  not  exceed  four  weeks. 

Article  44. 

Men  at  the  disposal  of  the  regular 
array  and  reserve  men  may  mnrry 
without  leave. 

But  married  men  are  liable  to  all 
the  duties  exacted  from  the  classes 
to  which  they  belong. 

But  men  at  the  disposition  of  the 
regular  army  who  are  the  fathers  of 
four  living  children  ])ass  by  right 
into  the  territorial  army. 

Article  4.5. 

Special  laws  will  determine  the 
basis  of  the  organization  of  the 
regular  army,  the  territorial  army, 
and  their  reserves. 


As  proposed  hy  the  Committee.  Alterations  imcde  hy  the  Aasc'inbly. 

Chapxer  IV. 

Oa  engagements,  Re-enga(jem,ents, 
and  Conditional  Emjagcm^cnts  for 
one  year. 

First  Section. 


Article  46. 

Every  Frenchman  may  voluntarily 
engage  on  the  following  conditions  : 
The  Volunteer  must — 

1 .  If  he  engages  to  serve  in  the 
navy  be  16  years'  old,  in  which 
case  he  need  not  be  of  the 
height  prescribed  by  the  law. 
But  if  he  is  18  yt>ars  of  age,  he 
must  be  of  the  required  height. 

2.  If  he  engages  in  the  army,  he 
must  be  5  feet  0^  inch  in 
height,  and  be  18  years  of  age. 

3.  He  must  know  how  to  read  and 

4.  Must  be  possessed  of  civil 

5.  Neither  married  nor  a  widower 
with  children. 

6.  Must  have  a  certificate  of  good 
conduct  from  the  Maire  of  the 
Commune  he  last  lived  in,  and 
if  he  has  not  resided  a  year  in 
that  commune  he  must  have  a 
certificate  from  the  Maire  of  tl>e 
Commune  he  previously  lived 

The  certificate  must  contain  a  des- 
cription of  the  young  man  who 
wishes  to  engage,  and  a  statement  of 
the  time  he  has  lived  in  the  com- 
mune, and  must  state  that  he  is  in 
the  enjoyniCDt  of  civil  rights.  That 
he  has  never  been  punished  for  theft, 
roguer) ,  deception,  or  offences 
against  morals. 

If  the  volunteer  is  less  than  20 
years  of  age  he  must  obtain  the 
approval  of  his  father,  mother,  or 

This  last  may  be  given  by  the 
authority  of  a  family  counsel. 

The  requisite  conditions  as  regards 
militarv    fitness    for    the     different 


As  proposed  hj  the  Committee.  Alterations  made  by  the  Assembly. 

branches  of  the  army,  are  fixed  by 
a  decree  inserted  in  the  "  Bulletin 
"  des  Lois." 

Article  47. 

The  length  of  engagement  is  for 
five  years. 

This  period  of  service  counts  in 
the  length  of  military  service  fixed 
by  Article  36. 

In  case  of  war  all  Frenchmen 
who  have  finished  the  period  of  ser- 
vice prescribed  for  the  regular  army 
and  its  reserve,  ai'e  allowed  to  engage 
in  the  regular  army  for  the  duration 
of  the  war. 

This  engagement  does  not  give 
dispens'vtions  as  provided  in  para- 
graphs 4  and  5  of  the  Article  17  of 
the  present  law. 

Article  48. 

Men  who  after  fulfilHng  the  con- 
ditions of  Articles  40  and  41  of  this 
Law,  are  about  to  be  sent  on  fiu'lough, 
may  be  allowed  to  remain  in  the 
army  so  as  to  complete  five  years' 

Men  sent  on  furlough  may  ako  be 
allowed  to  complete  five  years'  serA-ice 
in  the  ranks. 

Article  49. 

Volunteers  allowed  to  remain  in 
the  regular  army,  as  well  as  those  in 
waiting,  who  have  been  allowed  to 
complete  five  years'  service  in  the 
regular  army,  cannot  be  sent  on  fur- 
lough without  their  consent. 

Article  50, 

Voluntary  engagements  are  con- 
tracted as  prescribed  by  Articles  34 
to  44  of  tlie  Civil  Coae,  before  the 
Maires  of  the  chief  places  in  ihe 

The  conditions  as  to  length  of 
engagement  are  entered  on  these 

The  other  conditions  are  read  to 
the  persons  forming  these  engage- 
ments, before  signature,  and  the  fact 


As  proposed  hy  the  Committee.  Alterailuns  made  by  the  Assemhly. 

of  this  having  been  done  is  entered 
on  the  face  of  the  document,  other- 
wise it  is  void. 

Second  Section. 

Article  51. 

Men  may  be  allowed  to  re-engage        Two  years    at  least  and   not  ex- 
■sccodiug  twe^  ceeding  five  years. 

Re-eugagements  can  only  take 
place  during  the  last  year  of  service 
with  the  colours. 

They  are  renewable  until  29  years 
of  age  for  corporals  and  privates,  and 
until  S2-  years  of  age  for  sergeants.       35. 

The  other  conditions  are  fixed  by 
a  regulation  inserted  on  the  "  Bulle- 
tin of  Lois." 

Re-engagemeut  after  5  years' 
service  with  the  colours  gives  a  right 
to  high  pay. 

Article  52. 

Engagements  referred  to  in 
Article  48  of  this  law  may  be 
formed  before  the  Intendants  and 
Sous  Intendants,  on  the  form  directed 
in  Article  51.  Upon  presenting 
which  the  engaged  or  re-engaged 
man  may  enter  or  remain  in  the 
corps  for  which  he  engages  or  re- 

Third  Section. 

Conditional  Engagements  for  one 

Article  53. 

Young  men  who  have  obtained 
the  degree  of  Bachelors  of  Letters  or 

UnivPl'sitV     StlldiriP      OTld      htn^r*      fnlrm 

honours.  - 

Those  who  belong  to  the  central 
school  of  industry  and  commerce,  to 
tlie  schools  of  arts  and  trades,  to  the 
schools  of  the  fine  arts,  the  musical 
institution,     or     mav     have      been 


As  proposed  by  the  Committee. 

declared  admissible  to  these  schools  ; 
pupils  of  the  veterinary  schools,  the 
schools  of  agriculture,  are  allowed 
before  the  lots  are  drawn  when  they 
bring  certificates  issued  by  authori- 
ties named  in  the  "Bulletin  of  Lois," 
and  after— att—exa^iHtvatJoi^  fixed  by 
the  War  Minister  to  form  engage- 
ments for  one  year  as  provided  for  in 
the  said  regulation. 

Alterations  made  by  the  Assembly. 

Out  pupils  of  the  School  of  Mines, 
the  School  of  Fonts  et  Chaussees, 
the  School  of  Naval  Engineers, 
pupils  of  the  School  of  Mines  at 
Saint  Etienne  are  allowed 

for  one  year  in  the  Army. 

Article  54. 

the  previous  article^-^-number  to  be 
fixed  ea^h  year  by  the.  Minister  ft>r 
AY^ar  who  pass  the  exam inationfi 
■required  -may'  be-admitted  to  form 
snch  encacrenient?^. 

In  addition  to  the  young  men  re- 
ferred to  ifi  the  previous  Article 
those  who  pass  the  examinations  re- 
quired in  the  various  programmes 
prepared  by  the  Minister  for  War 
and  approved  by  decrees  of  the 
Public  Administration,  may  con- 
froct  similar  engagements 

These  decrees  must  be  inserted  in 
the  "  Btdletin  des  Lois.'" 

The  number  of  conditional  en- 
gagements for  a  year  is  fixed  each 
year  by  the  Minister  for  each  De- 
partment in  proportion  to  the  con- 

Article  of). 

The  Volunteer  for  a  year  is 
clothed,  mounted,  and  fed  at  Ji  is  own 
cost.  But  the  War  Minister  may 
exempt  in  part,  or  altogether  from 
tins  charge,  young  men  wJio,  in  their 
e.ramination,  give  proofs  of  capacity, 
and  who  sJiow  according  to  pre- 
scribed rules  that  tJiey  have  not  ths 
means  of  meeting  this  cost. 

Article  56. 

own  cost. 

He  is  liable  to  all  duties  imposed 
on  men  in  the  ranks. 

He  must  pass  the  examinations 
fixed  by  the  War  IMinister. 

If  after  a  year  of  service  he  does 
not  pass  the  examinations  he  is 
obliged  to  remain  for  a  second  year 
Jis  determined  hv  thi?  law. 

'J'hc   volunteer  for   a    year  is  en- 

If  after  a  second  year  he  cannot 
pass  the  required  examiuation  he  is 
deprived  of  the  advantages  reserved 
for  a,  volunteer  for  one  year,  and  is 
submitted  to  the  same  obligation  as 
(he  nirn  hrloiirjing  to  the  same  class. 


As prvposi^d  by  the  Cuininitlte.  Alterations  inade  by  the  Asaembly. 

In  any  case  if  ^var  breaks  out  he 
is  kept  in  the  service. 

The  time  the  volunteer  for  a  year 
serves  counts  in  the  length  of  service 
required  by  Article  3G  of  this  law. 

In   case    of  mobilization   the    vo- 

irticle  bl  Itinteer  for  one  year  is   dealt   ivith 

precisely  as  the    class   to   which    he 

During  the  year  which  precedes  the  belongs. 
enrohuent  of  their  class,  the  J  oungmen 
enumerated  in  Article  53  who  bave 
not  completed  their  studies  in  the 
faculties  or  schools  to  which  they 
belong,  but  who  wish  to  complete 
them  in  a  definite  period  of  time, 
may,  while  contracting  an  engage- 
ment for  one  year,  obtain  by  military 
authority  an  overslaugh  to  prevent 
their  joining  the  corps  to  which 
they  belong.  This  overslaugh  must 
not  extend  beyond  23  years  of  age. 


-jH-44m<?-<»?— w^ay-- all  cugagomcntg 
fe«--a-^ar-are-&Hspe«4ed . 

Article  58. 

After  the  volunteers  for  a  year 
have  passed  the  examination  required 
by  law,  they  may  obtain  warrants  as 
non-commissioned  officeis  or  commis- 
sions equivalent  at  least  thereto. 

Special  laws  referred  to  in  Aiticie 
46  will  determine  the  employment  of 
the  young  men  either  in  waiting,  in 
the  reserve  of  the  regular  army,  or 
in  the  territorial  army  in  the  various 
services  to  which  their  studies  have 
specially  destined  tliem. 

Chapter  V. 

Icnal  Uegulations. 

Article  50. 

Every  n\an  borne  on  the  register 
who  does  not  make  the  declarations 
relative  to  change  of  domicile,  pre- 
scribed by  Articles  34  and  35  of  this 
law,  is  retorrtd  to  the  ordir.ary  tri- 
bunals, and  may  be  fined  from  8s.  Ad. 
to  8/.  6s.  8(/. ;  he  m;iy  be  also  im- 
prisoned from  fifteen  days  to  three 
months.  In  time  of  war  these  penal- 
tics  are  doubled. 


As  proposed  hy  the  Committee.  Alterations  made  hi/  the  Asscmhhj. 

Article  60. 

Any  fraud  or  trick,  causing  the 
name  of  any  individual  to  be  omitted 
from  the  census  tables,  or  the  lists 
for  the  ballot,  are  to  be  referred  to 
the  ordinary  tribunals  and  punished 
by  imprisonment  for  from  one  month 
to  one  year. 

The  following  are  referred  to  the 
same  tribunals  and  liable  to  the  same 
punishment : — 

1.  Young  men  who  being  enrolled 
shall  on  account  of  fraudulent 
collusion  fail  to  appear  before 
the  Councils  for  Revision. 

2.  Young  men  who  by  means  of 
fraud  or  trick  cause  themselves 
to  be  exempted  by  the  Councils 
of  Revision,  the  accomplices  in 
such  crimes  are  liable  to  similar 

If  young  men  whose  names  have 
been  left  out  have  been  condemned  as 
authors  or  accomplices  in  frauds  or 
tricks  the  regulations  of  Article  14 
will  refer  to  them  at  the  first  drawing 
of  lots  which  takes  place  on  the 
termination  of  their  punishment. 

Any  young  man  improperly  ex- 
empted will  be  placed  on  the  )ist 
with  the  first  number. 

Article  61. 

Every  inau  brirne  on  the  register 
to  whom  an  order  to  march  has 
been  duly  notified,  and  who  does 
not  anive  at  his  destination  within 
one  month  of  the  day  fixed  by  that 
order,  is,  after  the  expiration  of  a 
second  month,  punished  as  insub- 
ordinate with  imprisonment  of  from 
one  to  twelve  months  in  time  of 
peace,  and  two  to  five  years  in  time 
0^  yar  y^^  //,,  /^,^^^,,.  ^.^^^^ 

At  the  termination  or  this  punish- 
ment he  is  to  be  sent  to  a  discipline 

In  time  of  war  the  names  of  in- 
subordinate men  are  posted  in  all 
the  communes  of  the  canton  where 
they  live,  and  remain  so  posted 
during  the  war. 


As  proposed  by  the  Committee.  Alterations  made  hrj  the  Assemhly. 

These  regulations  are  also  appli- 
cable to  all  volunteers  who,  with- 
out legitimate  cause,  do  not  reach 
their  destination  at  the  period  fixed 
by  their  routes. 

In  case  of  absence  from  their 
domicile,  the  order  to  march  is  sent 
to  the  Maire  of  the  Commune  where 
the  recruit  has  drawn  lots. 

So  far  as  recruits  are  concerned 
the  delay  of  one  month  is  increased 
to  two  months  if  the  recruit  is 
domiciled  in  Algiers,  in  the  islands 
or  counties  near  France,  or  in 
Europe.  It  is  extended  to  six 
months  in  all  other  parts  of  the 

Insubordinate  men  are  tried  by 
Court  Martial  in  the  military  divi- 
sion where  they  are  arrested. 

The  time  during  which  the  volun- 
teer or  the  man  borne  on  the  re- 
gister shall  have  been  absent,  is  not 
to  be  included  in  his  period  of 

Artivle  62. 

Whosoever  is  guilty  uf  having 
concealed,  or  taken  into  his  employ, 
a  man  guilty  of  insubordination  is 
punishable  with  imprisomiient  not 
exceeding  six  months ;  according  to 
circumstance  this  punishment  may 
be  commuted  into  a  fine  of  IGs.  8c/. 
to  8/.  Gs. 

Whosoever  helps  the  escape  of 
an  insubordinate  man  is  liable  to  an 
imprisonment  of  one  month  to  one 

Those  who  by  culpable  tricks 
prevent  the  departure  of  young 
soldiers  are  liable  to  the  same 

If  this  ci-ime  has  been  accom- 
])anied  by  riotous  conduct  the 
jiunishment  will  be  doubled. 

If  the  accused  is  a  public  func- 
tionai-y  employed  by  the  Govern- 
ment or  the  Minister  of  any  creed 
paid  by  the  State,  he  may  on  con- 
viction be  imprisoned  for  two  years, 
and  in  addition  be  fined  a  sum  not 
exceeding  80/. 


As  I'roposed  hj  the  Commitfee.  Alterations  made  hj  the  Assembly. 

Article  63. 

Any  man  convicted  of  tampering 
with  his  health  so  as  to  make  him 
unfit,  cither  temporarily  or  per- 
manently, for  military  service  with 
the  view  of  evading  the  provisions 
of  this  law  is  sent  before  the  Civil 
Court  by  the  Council  of  Revision, 
and  may  be  punished  with  Imprison- 
ment for  from  one  month  to  one  year. 

Those  guilty  of  the  same  crime 
during  the  period  of  closing  the 
lists  of  the  canton  and  joining  their 
cor|  )S  are  liable  to  the  same  punish- 

On  the  completion  of  their  punish- 
ment, both  are  placed  at  the  dis- 
posal of  the  Minister  for  War,  and 
may  be  sent  to  a  discipline  company. 

Accomplices  are  also  liable  to  the 
same  punishment  -in — addition — t© 
fines  of  8^.  tO'  80/.,  and-iij-addition 
to-heavier  punishments  whie-h--  may 
-l4e4nflictod  by  tho^eiml  code. 

If  the  accomplices  are  Doctors, 
Surgeons,  Health  Officers,  or  Apo- 
thecaries, the  punishment  will  be 
from  two  months  to  two  years. 

Article  64. 

The  periods  spent  in  prison  do 
not  count  as  a  portion  of  the  ser- 

In  addition  to  fines  of  Si.  to  80/., 
and  in  addition  to  heavier  punish- 
ments aicarded  bi/  the  civil  code. 

A I  tide  65. 

Any  military  or  civil  functionary 
who,  under  any  pretext  whatsoever, 
shall  authorise  or  allow  exemptions, 
dispensations,  or  exclusions  other 
than  those  provided  for  b}^  this  law, 
or  who  arbitrarily  shall  extend  the 
length  or  relax  the  rules  or  condi- 
tions of  enrolments,  engagements, 
or  re-engageuients,  shall  be  guilty 
of  an  abuse  of  authority  and  liable 
to  be  punished  as  directed  in  Arti- 
cle 185  of  the  Criminal  Code,  in 
addition  to  any  more  severe  punish- 
ment directed  by  the  code  in  other 


As  proposed  by  the  Committee. 
Article  66. 

Doctors,  Surgeons,  Health  Offi- 
cers, who  are  called  on  by  Councils 
of  Revision  to  give  their  opinion 
conformably  with  Articles  16,  18, 
20,  and  shall  receive  bribes  or  give 
promises  to  be  favourable  to  young 
men  who  they  may  examine  are 
liable  to  imprisonment  for  two 
months  to  two  years. 

They  are  liable  to  this  punishment 
whether  the  bribes  and  promises 
may  have  been  given  before  they 
have  been  asked  to  assist  the  coun- 
cil or  whether  they  have  been  given 
after  they  have  been  so  asked. 

They  are  equally'  forbidden  to 
receive  anything,  even  for  an  ex- 
emption or  discharge  legally  pro- 

Alterations  made  by  the  Asicmbli/. 

Article  67. 

Punishments  provided  in  Articles 
60-62.  63,  for  certain  acts^  are  ap- 
plicable to  those  ii'ho  attempt  to  com- 
mit them. 

hi  the  cases  referred  to  in  Article 
06,  those  who  offer  bribes  or  promises 
of  bribes  are  punishable  in  the  same 
way  as  those  ivho  receive  them. 

Article  'o'^. 

In  every  case  not  provided  for  in 
the  foregoing  articles,  the  civil  and 
military  tribunals,  within  the  limit 
of  their  jurisdiction,  shall  a|)ply  the 
criminal  law  to  such  crimes  as  may 
be  committed  in  carrying  out  this 

In  all  cases  when  imprisonment 
is  awarded  under  this  law,  the 
judges  may,  according  to  circum- 
stances, deal  with  the  case  as  pres- 
cribed in  Article  463  of  tlie  (.'riminal 

Special  Arrangements. 

Article  69. 

Young  men  enrolled  in  the  army 
under  this  law  shall,  in  addition  to 
the  instruction  requisite  for  their 
military  duty,  receive  such  other 
instruction  as  shall  be  prescribed  bv 
the  Minister  of  War. 


As  proposed  hi/  the  Cummittee.  Alterations  made  hy  the  Assembl/. 

Article  70. 

The  Minister  of  (1'ar  a7id  of  the 
Navy  shall  i?isure.  hy  recjiilation,  to 
tnen  of  all  arms  of  the  service  the 
freedom  requisite  to  attend  Divine 
Service  on  Simday,  and  any  religious 
festivals  held  sacred  hy  the  creed 
they  hold,  these  reyidations  to  be  in- 
serted in  the  "^Bulletin  dis  Lois.' 

Article  71 . 

Every  man  who  lias  passed  12 
years  under  the  colours,  four  at 
least  with  the  rank  of  Serjeant, 
shall  receive  a  certificate  from  the 
commanding  officer  of  his  corps, 
which  confers  on  him  the  right  to 
receive  (in  proportion  to  the  vacan- 
cies that  occur)  some  civil  or  mili- 
tary employment  suitable  for  his 
qualifications  and  education. 

A  special  law  will  enumerate  the 
employments  in  each  department  of 
of  the  State  which  shall  be  alto- 
gether or  in  part  reserved  for  can- 
didates with  the  aforesaid  certifi- 

Article  72. 

No  one  can  be  admitted  before 
30  years  of  age  to  a  civil  or  military 
employment  who  has  not  fulfilled 
the  conditions  imposed  by  this  law. 

Temporary  Arrangements. 

Article  74. 

The  provisions  of  this  law  shall 
be  applicable  to  the  regular  army, 
beginning  on  the  1st  January, 

Nevertheless,  the  whole  class 
enrolled  in  1871  shall  be  put  at  the 
disposal  of  the  Minister  for  War, 
and  young  men  not  belonging  to  the 
contingent  selected  l»v  the  Minister 

Article  73. 

The  War  Minister  shall,  before 
the  Z\st  March  of  each  xjear,  furnish 
a  statement  to  the  National  As- 
sembly, of  the  working  of  the  law 
during  the  previous  year. 


As  proposed  hj  the  Committee. 

shall  be  placed  iu  the  reserve  of  the 
army  in  place  of  the  National 
Guard  Mobile,  as  provided  for  by 
the  law  of  the  1st  February,  18G8. 

Young  men  now  i-ftelttded-4n-th€ 
National  Guard  Mobile  will  alao  be 
4fteki4e4-in-4li«H:=e8erve-  ef-4hc  army-. 

formed  in  oonformity-with  -tiie  SOth 

Artiolo   of  the  -Law-ef^the  ^Ist 

1-832,  modified  by  the  law  of 

i^efa'uary,  1868. 

Both  will  reffiaifl-4rH4hc  icacrve 

They  then  will  bo  transferred  to 
the  territoj-Jal  army^4n— eeaferBHty 
with  Article  §7  of  thi8-4ja,w^. 

■Men  belonging  ^;-o — tfee — classes 

^tlarrehr-^-B3^%  who- have  not  been 
included  in  the  conting^nts^-trnished 
by  theii^-elasseg^ -frnd  would  have 
■jjoon  included  in4lie  National  Guard 
4fobile— undei^  -the-law  -  of  the  1st 
Fobruary,  1-8^  -are-toHbe  borne  on 
4be4i&ts-of  ihe-yeserve-af  the  regu- 
4aF  -arniy  tH>til  29  years  of  age,  and 
-thenH-^tall^-i^^-conlormity  with  Arti^ 
-ele  ^^  of -%ln&  law,  be  transferred  to 

Alterations  macJc  hy  the  Asscmhli/ . 

And  will  remain  there  a  period 
equal  to  the  service  performed  in  the 
regular  army  and  its  reserve  hy  the 
men  of  the  same  class  included  in 
the  contijujent,  after  which  both  tvill 
he  transferred  to  the  territorial  army 
in  accordance  with  the  arrangements 
of  Article  36  of  this  law. 

Length  of  service  for  the  class  of 
1871  will  cvunt  from  1st  July,  1872, 
in  accordance  with  the  regidalions 
of  the  law  of  \st  February,   1868. 

Young  men  ivho  have  come  in'o 
the  Army  beforehand  ivill,  in  ac- 
cordance icith  t/ie  decree  5th  Janu- 
ary, 1871,  count  their  service  from 
1st  January,  1871. 

Article  75. 

Young  men  belonging  to  the 
classes  ^of  1867,  1868,  1869,  and 
1870,  enrolled  in  virtue  of  the  law 
of  the  \st  February,  1868,  and  who 
have  beeii  included  in  the  contingent 
of  the  Army,  will,  on  the  termina- 
tion of  their  service  in  the  reserve,  be 
placed  in  the  territorial  army  in 
conformity  with  Article  36  of  this 
law.  Young  men  of  the  same 
classes  who  have'  nut  been  included 
in  the  contingent  and  ivho  are  noir 
serving  in  the  National  Guard 
"  Mobile  "  shall,  on  the  \st  January, 
1 873,  be  placed  in  the  Reserve,  where 
they  will  remain  until  the  discharge 
from  the  service  of  the  young  men 
of  the  same  class,  icho  have  been  in- 
cluded in  the  contingent  of  the 
Army.  They  will  then,  in  con- 
formity with  Article  36  of  the  law, 
be  placed  in  the  territorial  army. 


As  j^roposed  hij  tJie  Committee.  Alterations  made  hi/  the  Assemhli/. 

Article  76. 

Men  of  previous  classes  enrolled 
under  the  law  of  the  ?)\st  March, 
1832,  loheiher  theij  have  or  have 
not  served  in  the  Armrj,  icill  serve 
in  the  territorial  army  and  its 
reserve,  in  accordance  ivith  the  dis- 
jjosition  of  Article  36  of  this  lair, 
until  they  shall  have  reached  tlte  aye 
prescribed  for  discharge  from  the 
territorial  army  and  its  reserve. 

The  position  of  the  men  will  be  in 
conformity  ivith  Article  15  of  the 
law  of  the  \st  February,  18G8,  they 
may  be  enrolled  by  classes,  beyinning 
with  the  youngest. 

A  Council  of  Revision  in  eacJt, 
district,  formed  in  accordance  with 
Article  16,  law  1st  February,  1868, 
will  pronounce  on  claims  for  exemp- 
tion on  account  of  infirmity  or 
tvant  of  height. 

Article  77. 

Young'  men  who,  in  place  of  be- 
longing to  the  National  Guard 
Mobile,  form  a  portion  of  the  reserve 
in  conformity  with  the  preceding 
articles  shall  be  drilled  and  reviewed 
as  determined  by  the  Minister  of 

Article  78. 

The  obligation  to  know  how  to 
read  and  write  requisite  to  form 
a  voluntary  engagement,  or  to  be 
sent  on  furlough  after  one  year's 
service,  shall  not  be  imposed  until 
after  the  1st  January,  1875. 

Article  79. 

All  the  provisions  of  the  laws 
and  prior  decrees  relative  to  recruit- 
ing the  army  are  and  will  remain 


The  subject  of  volunteers  for  one  year  being  of  great  importance, 
and  also  one  that  produced  much  discussion  in  the  Assembly,  the 
Decrees  putting  Article  54  in  force,  and  which  have  been  published 
in  the  "  Moniteur  de  I'Armee"  for  the  6th  November,  1872,  are 
herewith  appended : — 


The  President  of  the  French  Republic, 

Referring  to  the  law  of  the  27th  July,  1872,  upon  the  recruiting  of 
the  Army : 

Referring  to  Article  54  of  that  law,  relative  to  the  examinations  which 
3H:)ung  men  who  seek  to  become  volunteers  for  one  year,  and  who  are 
not  included  amongst  those  named  in  Article  53  : 

Upon  the  recommendation  of  the  Minister  for  War,  with  the  advice 
of  the  Council  of  State, 

Decrees  ; 

Art.  1.  Young  men  who  desire  to  form  a  conditional  engagement  for 
one  year,  iinder  Clause  54  of  the  law  of  the  29th  July,  1872, 
must  undergo  two  successive  trials  before  examiners  selected 
by  the  Minister  for  War,  and  chosen  amongst  farmers,  arti- 
zans,  and  men  of  business,  or  citizens  who  have  belonged  to 
these  professions. 

Art.  2.  The  first  trial  consists  in  waiting  French  from  dictation. 

Ai"t.  3.  Tlie  second  tiial  is  a  viva  voce  public  examination.  Candidates 
are  classed  in  three  sections — agriculturist,  artizaus,  or  busi- 
ness men ;  each  of  these  classes  goes  before  a  different 

This  examination  is  divided  into  two  portions — 
The  first  has  reference  to  the  subjects  on  which  the  candi- 
dates should  have  been  instructed  in  elementary  schools. 

The  second  portion  deals  with  the  candidate's  theoretical 
and  practical  knowledge  of  the  profession  he  belongs  to. 

Art.  4.  On  the  completion  of  these  oral  examinations,  the  examiners  in 
the  three  sections  meet  under  the  presidency  of  the  General 
Commanding  the  Department  or  a  Field  Officer  named  by  him, 
to  whom  is  joined  a  member  of  the  Council-General  named  by 
the  Council  or  by  the  Permanent  Commission.  A  committee 
is  thus  formed  which  draws  up  the  general  list  of  the  suc- 
cessful candidates. 

Art.  5.  The  Minister  of  War  is  charged  with  carrying  out  this  Decree, 
which  will  be  published  in  the  "  Journal  Otficiel,"  and  inserted 
in  the  ''  Bulletin  des  Lois." 

Given  at  Versailles,  31st  October,  1872. 

A.  Thiers. 
By  the  President  of  the  Republic. 
The  Minister  of  War, 

E.    DE    CiSSEY. 


Programme  of  the  professional  examinations  to  which  young  men  who 
seek  to  form  an  eugagemeut  for  one  year,  under  Clause  54,  27th 
July,  1872.  Each  candidate  will  be  examined  according  to  his  pro- 
fession and  special  acquirements,  in  accordance  with  the  following 
syllabus : — 


The  various  kinds  of  soils,  viewed  in  an  agricultural  point  of  view ; 
manures,  and  method  of  reclaiming  land  ;  climate  and  seasons,  their 
effect  on  cultivation  ;  irrigation  ;  agricultural  implements  and  tools ; 
systems  of  cultivation ;  preservation  of  harvests ;  cattle  and  domestic 
animals  ;  agricultural  accounts;  markets  for  the  chief  agricultural  pro- 
duce of  the  district. 


The  iioods  forming  the  special  trade  of  the  candidate ;  how  tfiey  are 
produced  ;  the  employment  and  the  outlay  requisite  to  produce  them  ; 
book-keeping ;  names  of  commercial  books  ;  principal  operations  of  trade 
and  banking ;  usual  forms  for  a  note  of  hand,  a  letter  of  exchange,  an 
order  or  cheque ;  meauhig  of  terms  used  in  trade  and  banking. 


Nature  and  properties  of  the  chief  materials  or  metals  ;  how  pro- 
cured or  smelted,  and  their  uses;  implements,  engines,  machines,  or 
tools  that  the  candidate  habitually  uses;  description  of  the  method 
adopted  by  the  candidate  in  carrying  out  his  own  special  trade ; 
description  of  his  trade. 

[H   *  S.— r  10.V2— f)CO-II  I  72] 


Part  II. 



By  major  C.  B.  BRACKENBURY,  R.A., 



Printed  under  the  Superintendence  of  Her  3IaJesti/'s  Stationer!/  Office, 


W.  CLOWES  &  SONS,  13,  Charing  Cross;  HARRISON  &  SONS,  59,  Pall  Mall  i 

W.  H.  ALLEN  &  Co.,  13,  Waterloo  Place ;  W.  MITCHELL,  39,  Charing  Cross ; 

LONGMAN  &  Co.,  Paternoster  Row ;  TEUBNER  &  Co.,  57  &  59,  Lndgatc  Hill ; 

STANFORD,  Charing  Cross;  and  H.  S.  KING  &  CO.,  65,  Conihill  ; 

Also  hy 

GRIFFIN  &  Co.,  The  Hard,  Poetsea  ; 

A.  &  C.  BLACK,  Edinburgh  ;  D.  ROBERTSON,  90,  St.  Yincent  Street,  Glasgow  ; 

ALEX.  THOM,  Abbey  Street,  and  E.  PONSONBY,  Grafton  Street,  DuBLrs, 

Price  Two  Sliilliiigs. 

[Wt.  p.  681a.     500—6  |  74— H.  &  S.— 4170.] 


The  following  pages  should  be  read  in  connection  with.  Lieu- 
tenant-Colonel Home's  translation  of  "  The  French  Law  of 
Recruiting,"  of  which  they  are  a  continuation. 

But  there  are  many  persons  who  may  be  glad  to  know 
something  of  the  changes  in  the  French  Army,  without  having 
time  or  inclination  to  study  the  subject  in  detail.  To  such,  the 
present  translator  addresses  this  short  introduction,  not  being 
without  hopes,  however,  that  the  casual  reader  may  be  induced 
to  dive  deeper,  and  search  among  the  arguments  in  favour  of 
the  great  changes  now  being  accomplished  in  the  French 
military  service,  for  those  general  truths  which,  among  much 
that  is  only  French  or  ephemeral,  stand  fast  as  great  principles 
for  the  guidance  of  all  ci\dlized  nations. 

The  italics  in  the  translation  are  those  of  the  original,  and 
seem  to  mark  points  which  the  author  of  the  Report  wished  to 
force  on  the  attention  of  his  hearers. 

Among  them  are  to  be  found  these  : — 

"  NeitliP}'  armies  nor  Generals  can  be  improvised  by  a  decree 
"  and,  if  education  is  rapid  on  tlie  field  of  battle,  its  cost  is  far  too 
"'  dear.''     Page  4. 

"  Time  is  no  longer  on  the  side  of  the  defence.^'  "  Perma- 
"  nent  preparation  then,  and  rapidity  of  mobilization  stand  forth  as 
'•  the  two  indispensable  conditions  of  every  army  organization.^ 
Page  5. 

"  We  icere  beaten  by  want  of  preparation,  organization,  and 
•'  direction,  and  by  the  iceakness  of  our  effective,  rather  than  by  the 
"  arms  of  our  enemies"     Page  9. 

"  Generals  are  responsible  for  military  operations  and  for  orders 
"  to  supjjly  and  distribute ;  Commissaries  are  responsible  for  the 
"  means  of  supply  and  for  payment  and  distribution.'' 

"  The  military  organization  and  constitution  of  the  corps,  and 
"  various  administrative  services,  shoidd  be  the  same  in  time  of  peace 
"  as  in  time  of  war."     Page  64. 

And,  with  reference  to  mobihzation  : — 

"  The  Minister  transmits  the  order  for  mobilization  to  the 
"  Generals  commandmg  army  corps,  and  concerns  himself  no 
''^further  as  he  used  to  do,  ivith  the  details  of  its  execution.  All 
"  ought  to  be  prepared  beforehand  by  the  Commander  of  an  army 
"  corps,  loho  is  responsible  for  the  rapid  execution  of  the  order.'' 
Page  69. 

France  has  adopted,  as  the  foundation  of  her  military 
system,  the  principle  that  it  is  the  duty  of  every  Frenchman  to 
serve  his  country  under  arms. 

A  2 


The  Law  of  Recruiting  pro^"ides  an  "  annual  contingent," 
— that  is,  a  body  of  young  men  ehgible  in  all  respects  for 
military  service, — numloering  about  158,000.  Of  these  about 
8,000  are  required  for  the  navy.  The  annual  force,  therefore, 
at  the  disposal  of  the  mihtary  authorities  for  the  army,  amounts 
to  about  150,000  men,  twenty  years  old. 

Part  of  this  contingent  will  consist  of  "  volunteers  for  one 
year,"  who  are  young  men  of  education,  prepared  to  defray  a 
considerable  portion  of  their  own  expenses.  They  have  only  to 
serve  in  the  ranks  for  a  period  of  from  six  months  to  a  year, 
provided  they  pass  an  examination  at  the  end  of  then-  term, 
when  tliey  receive,  as  a  ride,  certificates  of  qualification  as  non- 
commissioned officers.  Like  all  others  they  are  liable  to  be 
called  upon  at  the  outbreak  of  war. 

The  young  men  forming  the  rest  of  the  contingent,  are 
enrolled  m  coi-ps,  without  reference  to  the  part  of  the  country 
they  have  come  fi'om,  and  are  all  kept  with  the  colours  at  least 
one  year.  After  one  year,  some  of  them  are  sent  home,  but 
remain  always  at  the  disposal  of  the  Minister  of  War,  who 
keeps  many  or  few  in  the  ranks,  according  to  the  varying  con- 
ditions of  education  of  the  men ;  and  according  to  his  own 
needs,  on  the  one  hand,  to  provide  for  the  service  of  the 
country,  on  the  other,  to  keep  within  the  provisions  of  the 

But,  in  any  case,  the  150,000  men  of  each  coiitingent 
remain  five  years  m  the  active  army,  liable  to  seiwe  m  the 
ranks  at  any  time  and  to  be  called  out  for  peace  manoeuvi'es. 

Out  of  the  various  accumulating  annual  contingents  together 
with  a  permanent  force,  explained  in  Table  6,  Appendix  A,  is  to 
be  built  up  an  active  army  of  780,000  trained  men  organized  in 
corps  and  ready  to  take  the  field  at  once  on  the  outbreak  of 
war,  having  belimd  them  "troops  of  re-inforcement "  amount- 
ing to  279,000  men  Avho  have  all  served  at  least  one  year  in 
the  army.  These  '•  troops  of  re-inforcement  "  will  be  distributed 
in  the  corps  depots  together  with  the  150,000  men  of  the  last 
class  called  up  and  not  yet  fully  instructed. 

Thus  the  fightmg  army  of         . .  . .  780,000  men 

will  have  behind  it         . .  . .  . .  429,000  men 

moi'e  or  less  instructed,  learning  more  day-by-day,  and  always 
ready  to  fill  up  vacancies  in  the  fighting  corps  or  even,  if  neces- 
sary, to  furnish  a  new  army. 

The  forces  already  spoken  of  come  from  the  active  army 
and  its  reserve  which  consists  of  men  who  have  passed  five 
years  in  the  active  army,  but  have  not  completed  then-  ninth 
year  of  total  service. 

After  nine  years'  service  m  the  active  army  and  its  reserve, 
the  soldier  falls  into  the  "  territorial  army,"  and,  after  five  years 
in  it,  comes  to  the  "reserve  of  the  territorial  army,"  where 
he  remains  till  he  has  completed  his  twentieth  year  of  service. 
A  table  showing  the  estimated  strength  of  the  active  and  terri- 

torial  armies  witli  their  reserves  is  given  on  page  108.  The 
grand  total,  at  the  end  of  twenty  years'  working  of  the  law, 
should  amount  to  2,423,164  men. 

Twenty  years  may  appear  a  long  time,  but  it  will  be  ob- 
served that,  nine  years  after  passing  the  law,  France  ought  to 
see  a  field  force  ^\4th  reserves  amounting  altogether  to  about 
1,200,000,  and  the  Government  could  hardly  fail  to  find  old 
soldiers  able  to  garrison  the  principal  fortresses  in  case  of  the 
occm-rence  of  war  withm  the  next  eight  or  nine  years. 

So  far  we  have  spoken  of  numbers,  let  us  now  briefly 
examine  the  organization. 

France  is  di\dded  into  18  regions,  each  ganisoned  by  an  army 
corps.     There  is  besides  a  special  corps  for  Algeria. 

Each  corps  will  have  two  infantry  divisions,  one  brigade  of 
cavalry,  one  brigade  of  artillery,  one  battahon  of  engineers,  and 
one  squadron  of  field  train  besides  staff"  and  auxihary  ser"\aces. 
The  proportion  of  guns  is  to  be  3*6  per  1,000  combatants.  The 
extra-divisional  artillery  is  to  be  called  "  corps  artillery  "  instead 
of  "  reserve  artillery  "  as  before,  lest,  as  happened  in  the  late  war, 
the  name  should  lead  to  its  use  "  as  a  mere  support "  instead  oi 
"  at  the  commencement  of  the  battle." 

The  various  army  corps  A\dll  be  recruited  indifferently  from 
the  whole  contingent ;  and,  during  peace,  may  be  moved  from 
region  to  region;  but  the  reserves  will  be  organized  in  then  own 
regions.  At  the  outbreak  of  war  the  men  of  the  reserve  are  to 
be  mobilized  near  then  homes,  clothed  and  armed  at  depots 
already  known  to  them,  within  a  day's  w^alk,  and  sent  to  swell 
the  ranks  of  that  corps  which  happens  to  be  stationed  in  the 
region  at  the  time. 

The  teiTitorial  army  will,  at  all  times,  belong  to  its  o^\ll 
region.  Its  duties  in  war  will  be  to  garrison  fortresses,  defend 
strategic  points,  and  work  the  etappen  arrangements  (lines  of 

Thus  the  new  French  system  is  a  combination  of  the  German 
district  system,  and  that  called  by  General  Chareton  the 
"  national  system." 

There  are  to  be  no  combinations  of  army  corps  to  form 
armies  under  one  Commander  during  peace. 

Among  the  decrees  of  the  President  to  carry  out  the  prin- 
ciples of  the  Bill,  is  one  for  the  re-organization  of  the  staff'.  It 
is  short,  but  indicates  clearly  enough  the  intention  of  the 
military  authorities  to  carry  out  in  its  integrity  the  principle 
that  the  head-quarter  staff  should,  during  peace,  be  constantly 
occupied  in  preparation  for  war,  while  the  Generals  command- 
ing army  corps  are  directly  responsible,  in  peace  as  in  war,  for 
both  command  and  administration  of  their  respective  corps. 

Few  subjects  have  created  more  controversy  than  the  rela- 
tion of  the  command  to  the  administration.  The  French  have 
settled  it  on  the  principles  thus  laid  down  by  General  Chareton 
in  the  name  of  the  Committee  (page  65). 

"  1st.  Absolute  independence  of  the  control. 


'*  2nd.  The  separation  of  the  administrative  services  of  the 

"  management,  direction,  and  control. 
"  3rd,  The  subordination  of  the  administration  to  the  com- 

"  mand  in  time  of  peace  as  in  time  of  war. 
"  4th.  The  individual  working  of  the  medical  corps  under 

"  the  direct  authority  of  the  command." 

To  sum  up,  it  may  be  said  that  the  experience  of  one  of  the 
most  terrible  disasters  that  ever  befel  a  high-spirited  nation  has 
caused  the  army  of  France  to  be  remodelled  on  these  principles : 

1st.  General  obligation  of  military  service. 

2nd.  A  peace  organization,  approacliing  as  nearly  as  possible 
the  organization  for  war.  The  corps  are  always  ready, 
*r^~^  with  their  staffs  and  administrative  services,  and  only 

require  the  addition  of  their  reserves — always  close  at 
hand — in  order  to  take  the  field.  Their  stores  are  also 
on  the  spot. 

3rd.  Decentralization.  Each  General  mobilizes  his  own 
corps,  is  responsible  for  his  own  first  supplies,  and  can 
have  no  one  but  himself  to  blame  if  he  is  slow  or  wants 

4th.  On  the  other  hand,  the  Government  has  a  corps  of 
inspectors  who  will,  dming  peace,  detect  the  incompe- 
tence of  a  Commander.  This  corps  of  inspectors  is 
spoken  of,  in  page  Go,  as  the  "  General  Control,"  as 
distinguished  from  the  "Interior  Control." 

5th.  The  control  is  carefully  separated  from  the  administra- 
tion, and  the  Generals  are  expected  to  be  good  admini- 
strators as  well  as  good  leaders  of  troops. 

6th.  Recruiting,  remounts,  hospitals,  &c.^r  ^ye  managed  by 
the  territoiial  stafi"  in  each  region,  but  «».  xvays  under  the 
General  commanding  the  corps  there  present.  When 
a  coi-ps  is  mobilized  and  quits  its  region,  the  command 
of  the  region  and  its  territorial  troops  is  handed  over  to 
an  ofiicer  previously  appointed  by  the  Minister. 

In  order  to  distinguish  the  French  system  fit'om  the  German, 
now  and  in  the  future,  the  French  word  "regional"  has  been 
literally  translated  wherever  it  applies  to  the  former,  although 
it  is  used  by  the  French  in  speaking  of  the  German  system. 
When  the  same  word  refers  to  the  German  system  it  has  been 
translated  "  district." 

The  reader  is  requested  to  bear  in  mind  the  distinction 
between  an  "  army  corps "  and  a  "  coi-ps."  The  latter  may 
mean  any  organized  body  of  men,  such  as  a  regiment  or 
battahon  of  infantry,  or  a  brigade  of  artillery.  The  word  corps 
is  frequently  used  in  this  sense,  for  instance,  in  Article  11  of  the 

The  most  important  measures  taken  to  carry  out  the  provi- 
sions of  the  Bill  have  been  added  at  the  end  of  this  translation. 

C.  B.  B. 



By  General  Chareton,  Member  of  the  National  Assembly. 

Anneo'ed  to  the  proces-verbal  of  the  Sitting,  9th  June. 

Translated  in   tlie   Intelligence   Department,  by  Major  C.  B. 
Brackenbury,  R.A.,  D.A.A.G. 

The  Committee  was  thus  composed : — 

President.— M.  de  Lasteyrie. 

Vice-Presidents. — General  Baron  de  Chaband-la-Tonr.  Ad- 
mnal  de  Montaignac. 

Secretaries. — M.  M.  Bethmont,  Chaper,  Emile  Carron,  the 
Marquis  de  Momay. 

Members. — Messieurs  de  la  Rochethulon,  d'Aboville,  de 
Combarieu,  General  Billot,  Admiral  de  Dompierre  d'Hornoy, 
Cornehs  de  AYitt,  General  Loysel,  General  Yictor  Pelhssier, 
General  Chareton,  General  Ducrot,  the  Marquis  de  Yorgue, 
Admu-al  de  la  Ronciere  le  Noury,  Dahirel,  de  Carayon-Latom-, 
the  Duke  de  Crussol-d'Uzes,  General  Martin  des  Pallieres, 
Colonel  de  Cha ",  " ",,  Admiral  Saisset,  General  Frebault,  Fresneau. 
Aclocque,  Marquis  d'Andelarre,  Passy,  Baron  Yast-Yimeux, 
Andren  de  Kerdrel,  Yarroy,  General  Chanzy,  Sarrette,  Baron 
de  Barante,  Brun  (Yar),  the  Duke  d'Harcourt,  the  Count 
Octave  de  Bastard,  Bouisson  and  de  Merode. 



§  1.  Necessity  of  fixing  by  Law  the  base  of  our  Military 


The  organization  of  the  military  forces  of  a  nation  is  one 
of  the  attributes  of  the  sovereign  power. 

Placed  under  the  control  of  a  system  of  Orders  in  Council 
in  monarchies  where  the  executive  power  and  the  sovereignty 
are  blended  in  the  same  hands,  it  must  be  _  regulated  by  laAv  m 
countries    where    the    sovereign    power   is   distinct   from   the 



You,  yourselves,  decided  this  when  you  voted  Article  45  of 
the  law  of  the  27th  July,  1872.* 

The  Government  holds  the  same  opinion  ;  and  the  President 
of  the  Repubhc,  in  introducing  the  Bill  on  organization,  which 
was  laid  upon  the  table,  gave  you  to  understand  that  there  are 
two  essential  reasons  for  this. 

First.  Because  the  foundations  of  a  country's  greatness 
should  be  profoundly  stable. 

Second.  Because  the  formation  of  cadres  is  a  work  of  time : 
they  can  never  be  improvised  and  there  ought  to  be  no  differ- 
ence except  that  of  numbers  between  the  peace  and  war  foot- 
ing of  an  army. 

To  these  essential  reasons  we  will  add  a  third  which  is 
no  less  essential.  It  is  that  we  could  not  reduce  the  effective 
of  the  ranks  beyond  a  certain  lunit  without  rendering  impossible 
the  instruction  of  the  cadres,  and  reducing  hurtfully  that 
rapidity  of  mobilization  which  is,  in  these  days,  the  first  con- 
dition of  all  good  army  organization. 

It  is  the  business  of  the  law  to  fix  the  minimum,  a